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Worms was a small city of 7000. However, there was nothing modest about what took place on April 18, 1521. On that day, Martin Luther was at the center of the most important turning point in the history of Christianity since Christ. (more…)

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My preference is not to use the theological labels “Arminian” and “Calvinist,” but I feel the need to respond to Christian academic philosophers who apparently cannot get through the week without attacking the beliefs of their Calvinist brothers and sisters in Christ. It seems conservative Christians are fair game if they do not meet the standards of Arminian thinking.

Last month I read a tweet about the research of a Houston Baptist University professor whose academic mission is to prove “what is wrong with Calvinism.” Dr. Jerry L. Walls went to Princeton Seminary, Yale Divinity School, and has a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

His dedication to his mission includes video lectures on his website and You-Tube where he explains the blunders of those who fail to embrace the enlightened ground of Arminianism.

Yes, Arminian professors have every right to turn a blind eye to important issues dear to conservatives such as opposition to abortion and assisted-suicide and the defense of religious liberty. Such professors are free not to instill in their students the importance of uniting with other conservatives to oppose dangerous trends in culture. If they want their students to feel smug in their perceived theological superiority, so be it. It’s called academic freedom. And, certainly, there is nothing surprising about being a cheerleader for Arminianism in liberal circles.

But why all the anti-Calvinism at an evangelical university? What is so threatening about Calvinism that obsesses Arminian professors to the point that they will throw their Calvinist brothers and sisters under the bus?

In today’s hostile climate for Bible-believing Christians, is it helpful to consume a lot of intellectual energy undermining the platform of Calvinists such as Albert Mohler who provides excellent biblical analysis on today’s culture? Even if the Arminian assault is not directed specifically at Mohler or another defender of Bible Christianity, does it not still help liberalism?

In the bigger picture of principalities and power, how many Bible-believing Christians really care about the so-called Arminian-Calvinist debate?

If it makes any difference, I ask these questions as a non-Reformed person. If you are looking to label me, think D.L. Moody proto-fundamentalism.

Let us park what appears to be theological arrogance and let liberals do their own work of tearing down conservative Christians.

 

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The recent Report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission defines “cultural genocide [as] the destruction of those structures and practices that allow a group to continue as a group” (p.1). Just over 50 years ago John Prebble’s well-known work, The Highland Clearances concluded that the clearances of the Scottish highlands during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and the clearance of the Chisholms in particular, had destroyed the structures and practices of the Scottish highland clan structure that had allowed the clans to exist. Just over 35 years ago the Canadian novelist, Linden MacIntyre, published an article on the 1979 visit of our 32nd Chief, Alistair Chisholm to the Antigonish Highland games, which pitied the Chisholms who had been “rejected and ejected” by the representatives of the highland clan system. (more…)

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No Oscar for “Trumbo”

Last September a number of entertainment writers were hopeful of the film “Trumbo” scoring an Oscar. It was wishful thinking. Bryan Cranston, Best Actor nominee for “Trumbo,” was shut out at the Oscars last night.

Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976) was a Communist Party member and a Hollywood writer who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. This was the era of worrisome Communist espionage. The Igor Gouzenko affair in Canada the year before alerted officials of the real threat of Communist spying. Fuelling fear of Communist strength within the borders of the United States were President Harry Truman’s Executive Order 9835 that established a federal loyalty program and the actions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities against Communists or those in sympathy.

Recent scholarship using newly released archival documents confirms that mid-century Americans were correct in believing that there was significant Communist infiltration of American government. High profile figures such as Alger Hiss, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and others were not innocent victims of anticommunist paranoia, but guilty Communist spies.

But films such as “Trumbo” and other stories driven by the Hollywood Left suggest that the broader “red scare” of the immediate post-World War II period was a witch-hunt driven by anticommunist hysteria. The numbers vary widely with one study claiming that the red scare “ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.” This is nonsense. Where is the evidence of the red scare having much of an effect on the employment status of Main Street Americans or causing widespread “ruined” lives? One study suggests that perhaps 2,000 government employees lost their jobs of which anticommunist Senator Joseph McCarthy was responsible for no more than 40 cases.

For many years, Hollywood leftist did quite well. As scholar Ronald Radosh writes, “Communists in the film colony were well paid and lived in a political atmosphere that was not oppressive.” Yes, a small number of real Communists who refused to break from Communism did pay the consequences. Dalton Trumbo spent 10 months in prison. When he returned to Hollywood he continued to write but his work was uncredited. He never stopped regarding America as the major villain on the world scene; for him, Communism was on the “right side of history.”

Others continue to push a perversely romanticized version of home-grown Communists and those on the Left. A recent article in my local newspaper embraces this narrative. Having watched “Trumbo,” journalist Ted Barris writes: “It reminded me of a very scary time in the world…. It made me sad to think that people lost their careers (and in some cases their lives) for their political views in a democratic country … in my lifetime. The hero of the story, Dalton Trumbo, summed it up late in the movie…. ‘The blacklist was a time of evil.’”

I am unaware of the American government killing its citizens for being Communists. Also, Barris avoids any critical assessment of Communism. What about the Stalinist-style “justice” that resulted in ruthless executions of the “Great Terror” or the long horrifying sentences to isolated labor camps of so-called enemies of the state? For balance, it might be helpful if he consulted books such as The Black Book of Communism (Harvard 1999) which argues that Communist regimes were “criminal enterprises in their very essence” carrying out the planned killing of at least 85 million people in the twentieth century.

Romantic views of Communists might make good entertainment for some, but I prefer a more honest assessment of historical facts. Yes, I am glad “Trumbo” did not win an Oscar.

First published in The Conservative Prof.: https://theconservativeprof.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/no-oscar-fortrumbo/

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Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is about social stability, sexual promiscuity, and happiness. From cradle to grave, man receives great care from the World State; the World Controllers know better, conditioning people to “like their unescapable social destiny” (Huxley, 19). (more…)

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There are some individuals destined to take on giants. Born in 1925, conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. became one of the most impressive American public intellectuals of the twentieth century. Founder of the conservative magazine the National Review, a prolific author of numerous books and articles, and the creator and host of the debate-style television show Firing Line, Buckley certainly left his mark. And he started young. At age 25, he tweaked the nose of the Yale University establishment. (more…)

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is experiencing some economic, legal, and religious difficulties.

The province of Ontario was once the economic powerhouse of Canada. It has declined to have-not status due mostly to the misguided economic policies and excessive spending of the present and previous Liberal government.

How bad is the situation in Ontario? (more…)

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