Saturday, January 23, 2021

"Inciting violence"

I recently got into a debate with a notable Christian leader (whom I won't name) who argues Trump did "incite violence" with the Capitol Hill "rioters", which of course is one of the bases for why Trump has been impeached again. Here are my (edited) replies.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Money Interests In Matthew's Gospel As Evidence Of Authorship

Matthew himself was traditionally identified as a tax collector, and Matthew's Gospel shows the greatest level of financial interest, including numerous references to money and treasure that Matthew alone records:

- The magi, with their rich gifts (2:11)
- The parable about hidden treasure (13:44)
- The parable about the discovered pearl (13:45-46)
- The scribe compared to someone bringing out old and new treasures (13:52)
- The account of Peter and the temple tax collectors (17:24-27)
- The parable of the servant who was forgiven a huge debt of ten thousand talents and who refused to forgive a fellow servant a debt of a hundred denarii (18:23-35)
- The parable of the workers in the vineyard, discontented with their pay of one denarius for a day because the same was given to late arrivals who had worked less time (20:1-16)
- The parable about talents (25:14-30)
- Judas's betrayal money (27:3) and what was purchased with it (27:7)
- The bribe given by the chief priests to the guards at Jesus's tomb (28:12)

(Peter J. Williams, Can We Trust The Gospels? [Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2018], approximate Kindle location 1349)

There's some merit to Williams' argument, but it should be qualified.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

"Democracy" in America

If we want to know who's really in power, then perhaps one way to know is to think about who or what we cannot openly criticize in a reasonable manner...

...without being shouted down.

...without being publicly shamed.

...without being called false names.

...without losing our reputations.

...without made into social pariahs in our own communities.

...without being ostracized in our own nation.

...without having our speech curtailed or even silenced.

...without being fined.

...without losing our jobs.

...without being imprisoned.

...without being forcibly "re-educated".

...without unjust corporeal punishment.

...without being "disappeared" in the middle of the night.

...without being publicly executed.

...without being (shall we say) "canceled".

In China, it is the CCP.

In North Korea, it is the Kim family.

In Russia, it is Putin.

In Iran, it is the ayatollah.

In many Middle Eastern nations, it is Islam.

In the US, are we still able to openly criticize in a reasonable manner people, organizations, institutions, the government, and so forth without significant cost to us or our families?

[O]ne theme in particular dominated all others: the growing tyranny of the majority, the ever-increasing and most formidable barriers raised by the majority around the free expression of opinion, and, as a result, the frightening oneness of American thinking, the absence of eccentricity and divergence from the norm.

A perfect liberty of the mind exists in America, said Tocqueville, just as long as the sovereign majority has yet to decide its course. But once the majority has made up its mind, then all contrary thought must cease, and all controversy must be abandoned, not at the risk of death or physical punishment, but rather at the more subtle and more intolerable pain of ostracism, of being shunned by one's fellows, of being rejected by society.

Throughout history kings and princely rulers had sought without success to control human thought, that most elusive and invisible power of all. Yet where absolute monarchs had failed, democracy succeeds, for the strength of the majority is unlimited and all pervasive, and the doctrines of equality and majority rule have substituted for the tyranny of the few over the many, the more absolute, imperious, and widely accepted tyranny of the many over the few. (Richard Heffner, Democracy in America)

Monday, January 18, 2021


David Wood doesn't care about big tech demonetizing and deplatforming him. He's going to continue speaking the truth, exposing Islam, exposing big tech, exposing the mainstream media, and so on. I think that speaks volumes about Wood's character.

At the same time, Wood has a large family (by modern western standards) to provide and care for including two special needs kids if I recall correctly. Last I heard he lives in NYC which isn't exactly an affordable place to raise a family nor a friendly place for conservatives of any stripe. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be more prudent for Wood to be less provocative, but I suppose then he wouldn't be who he is nor accomplish all the good he has accomplished.

Regardless, when leftists talk about fighting for freedom, I'd say David Wood (and the many others like him) is far closer to what fighting for freedom looks like today than, say, leftists taking selfies at Antifa protests (let alone burning down local businesses and violently attacking other protesters) so decades later they can tell their kids or grandkids that they particpated in "the revolution". I just hope history remembers that they took part in what should be shameful activities, but even if history doesn't, God sure does.

Sunday, January 17, 2021


Here's an interview with Andrew Torba, the founder and CEO of Gab:

People can listen to the same interview here (starts at approximately 12:30):

Gab is an alternative to Twitter and similar social media. Torba is a conservative Christian.

It's maddening how Gab and even Torba as a person have been treated by big tech and others. I fear Torba is right that we're only a step or two away from the Bible being considered hate speech by the left. Same goes for what conservative Christians say online. If that happens, then it's possible to see (for example) a conservative church website or an apologetics ministry "canceled" by big tech and having to face all the sorts of battles Torba and Gab have faced. I guess "social justice" doesn't apply "equally" to conservatives.

This interview took place on July 14, 2020. Of course, things have only gotten worse since then.

The Tax Collector's Gospel

The traditional authorship attribution of the gospel of Matthew is sometimes disputed on the basis that what the author says about the calling of Matthew in chapter 9 is too similar to what's found in Mark and Luke or isn't detailed enough. I've responded to such objections elsewhere, but I want to add some points I didn't make there.