Saturday, August 01, 2009

A new blog you might like:
A new blog you might like:

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The gospel is like a great lover and wretched street girl who had been abused by all her old boyfriends. The lover loved the street girl and said to her "if you will believe that my love is better than any other's, I will give you my love forever and never take it away."
The gospel is like a rich man who by his intelligence amassed a great fortune, and a poor man who had become poor through his own foolishness. The rich man had pity on the poor man and said, "If you will acknowledge that I have been wise with my money and you have been foolish, I will give you so much wealth that you will never be poor again."

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Just War Theory has two sets of criteria. The first establishing jus ad bellum, the right to go to war; the second establishing jus in bello, right conduct within war.

Jus ad bellum

Just cause

The reason for going to war needs to be just and cannot therefore be solely for recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong; innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. A contemporary view of just cause was expressed in 1993 when the US Catholic Conference said: "Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations."

Comparative justice

While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to override the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other. Some theorists such as Brian Orend omit this term, seeing it as fertile ground for exploitation by bellicose regimes.

Legitimate authority

Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war.

Right intention

Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.

Probability of success

Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;

Last resort

Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions.


The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms. This principle is also known as the principle of macro-proportionality, so as to distinguish it from the jus in bello principle of proportionality.

A just War is one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects or to restore what it has seized unjustly.
In modern terms just war is waged in terms of self defence or in defence of another with sufficient provocation a nation could justify strike first in self defence or defence of an innocent third party. must have the right intention.

Jus in bello

Once war has begun, just war theory also directs how combatants are to act:(Jus in bello)


Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of distinction. The acts of war should be directed towards enemy combatants, and not towards non-combatants caught in circumstances they did not create. The prohibited acts include bombing civilian residential areas that include no military target and committing acts of terrorism or reprisal against ordinary civilians.


Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of proportionality. An attack cannot be launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality).

Military necessity

Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of minimum force. An attack or action must be intended to help in the military defeat of the enemy, it must be an attack on a military objective, and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. This principle is meant to limit excessive and unnecessary death and destruction.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I was muddled on torture, but this article explained to me why a Christian should be against it (and it's a similar reason to why to be against abortion).

Also, I'm new to hearing of John Mark Reynolds, but I'm glad folks like him are out there arguing for a more godly culture.

Monday, May 18, 2009

good article on Obama at Notre Dame

When a few protesters interrupted President Obama's speech at the Notre Dame graduation by shouting, "Stop killing our children!" the student body replied by chanting, "Yes, we can."

This inadvertent juxtaposition of messages was, perhaps, not the best way to placate traditional Catholics."\

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two relationships

In the first, the husband was unfaithful but deeply regretted it because he had great passion for his wife in his heart.

In the other, the husband never cheated, but couldn't care less for his wife.

Which marriage has hope?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I've always like the idea of a prayer journal, especially for keeping track of answered prayers. But I'm a terrible journaler, so it's never happened. I'm going to try to do it here.

First, to mark where I'm at, I have been a Christian since August 1997, and I'd conservatively estimate that I've had thousands of prayers answered.

This past week, God answered my cry very directly with Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. It spoke directly to my struggle, and God renewed my heart and strength.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Gospel and Prayer

Speaking loosely, I've begun to find that prayer is the most important means of living the Gospel.

This is because my understanding of the Gospel is that the human experience is the quest for deliverance from Evil, and the good news is that God, in his perfect capacity, acts to deliver us from evil. Our role is almost a passive one, except that we are to simply believe that God is, in fact, acting to save us.

And prayer is the perfect way to experience this. By making a petition to God, we acknowledge our need (or, in other words, it's an act of repenting from the sin of self-sufficiency, aka, believing we can save ourselves, aka, believing that we are God). In that act, we also are expresssing our faith that God can and will save us. And then we wait on God, in His infinite wisdom and capacity, to answer, knowing that either He will do as we've prayed, or else it wouldn't have been good for us if He had.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tim Keller resources

So, here's my 2-cents (and really, this is just my personal speculation). The postmodern person is in crisis, no less the postmodern Christian. In response, there's a New Church Movement (home churches, emergent churches, traditional denominational churches that feel like emergent churches). But I think the church iteration that is going to best meet the exigencies of day is the young Reform church.

In that vein, I came across a cool blog that stockpiles Tim Keller resources. Keller is probably the brightest light in the Reform church right now, and his stuff is really the good stuff. Of course, to my mind, the good stuff is just the book of Romans, restated.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dear Christians,

I know many of you suffer.

But know that your brothers and sisters everywhere undergo the same thing, and that your suffering isn't for nothing. It is for a purpose, and as you faithfully endure it, you resist the devil and have fellowship with your Christ and Lord.

1 Peter 5:9, Phil. 3:10-11.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Gospel and self-control

So, I've claimed that a Christian's job isn't to be self-controlled (or do any particular work), but to believe in Jesus. But I'm also claiming that believing in Jesus will improve your self-control.


Why do we lack self-control? Why do we eat too much, or drink too much, or gossip, or act-out sexually. Is it really because we literally cannot control ourselves? I don't think so. Think of your typical instance of lacking self-control – if someone were there with a gun to your head, you could probably refrain from whatever action.

The real reason we don't control ourselves is that we don't really believe it's in our best interest. We believe (trust, have faith) that our happiness will actually be best accomplished by gratifying ourselves. We don't believe our happiness is best served by Jesus – in short, when we act badly, it's not really so much that we can't control ourselves as that we don't want to. And we don't want to because we don't believe in our hearts that it's good for us.

But believing in Jesus entails believing that He is our shepherd, and under his care we shall not be in want. We indulge ourselves to satisfy a felt need, but trusting in Jesus convinces us that our felt need will best be met by Him.

Imagine you are hungry. You're told by your friend that he's taking you to the best restaurant in town so you can eat. On the way, you stop at 7-11. You have the opportunity to eat a large candy bar. Do you do it? It largely depends on whether you trust that your friend is really taking you to the best restaurant in town. If he is, then you'll control your appetite for a little while longer; if you don't trust your friend, you'll satisfy yourself with a Snickers.

It's the same with Jesus. If we trust Him, we'll control ourselves. If we're failing to control ourselves, the solution isn't to try harder. It's to know Jesus better.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Job Description of the Christan

Your job as a Christian isn't to try harder.

Your job as a Christian isn't to do more.

Your job as a Christian isn't to read your Bible more.

Your job as a Christian isn't to pray more. Or serve more. Or give more.

Your job as a Christian isn't to control yourself better.

Your job as a Christian isn't to do less bad things. Or do more good things.

Your job as a Christian isn't to get your act together or clean up your life.

Your job as a Christian isn't to act like a saint.

Your job as a Christian isn't to be more righteous or less wicked.

Your job as a Christian is believe in the One whom God sent, and all these thing will be added unto you.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Good News

In Christ,

You are perfect and complete.

You are fully accepted and loved. You don't need to be better, more beautiful, funnier, smarter. You are utterly accepted in Christ.

You don't need to succeed. Christ has succeeded for you.

It doesn't matter if you fail. You're failures have been swallowed up in Christ's success. You may, in fact, be better off failing, so you're not tempted to trust yourself and instead can only place you're hope in Christ's success.

You don't need to be strong (you're not strong enough anyway for what is required, which is to be perfect as God is perfect); Christ is strong for you. You're better off weak, so you never forget only Christ is strong.

You don't need to do anything else. Christ has done everything for you.
Which came first?

If you obey my commands, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:31

This brings to mind Bonhoeffer's statement that 'we cannot believe with obeying; we cannot obey without believing.' There is a chicken and egg element to this. Fortunately, the chicken, the egg, and our faith all come from God.

Christian life runs on the fuel of faith, but faith is inextricably bound up with works. And, perhaps counterintuitively, if our faith is suffering, obeying may help.

Understanding this also helps address the tension between James and Paul, in which Paul claims we're justified by faith, and James says we're justified by works.

Faith must precede works, but works must follow and will produce additional knowledge of the truth and greater faith.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy...

Psalm 37:14

Obama to end abortion funds ban