Thinking Modernism, Christianity, and the Apocalypse.

For the kind of Christian nerd who grew up thinking comic books and super-heroes boring and found the  “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” PC game (pictured) way more interesting….

Check out the series of lectures titled…

Modernism, Christianity and Apocalypse

Some of you may enjoy these lectures on the relationship between the Christian Apocalypse and it’s impact on different modern societies…. (really liked the lecture on Wittgenstein’s God)…..

Warning: Some of the lectures are pretentious and banal. The best way to identify these types is if the lecturer has an oxford accent and seems to enjoy hearing their own voice…(For Example-Malise Ruthven’s lecture on The Apocalyptic Social Imaginary  who self-references his use of “slippage”…. and when he does you can almost hear him giggling to himself like a elementary school-boy)….

Speaking about Nothing and a Comment on Clive Staples Lewis’s comment:


“If you choose to say ‘God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it’, you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix them with the two other words ‘God can’. It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.”   -Problem of Pain

That’s worth reading three times over. And I’ll let it speak for itself.

But is it not a  bit ironic that religion is adapting the rhetoric and skepticism and certainty as if it was science with a different brand name?

There’s a whole ton of limitless, infinite speculations about how God works,  how the trinity functions and a whole bunch of “if, thens and therefores” that start with the knowledge that God is sovereign and he knows alot and he does what he wants…. and there’s no use to argue with this “just the facts here man” statements because you’re not God…. so don’t tell him what he’s not. You are just like, you know, totally human dude…

As if the argument is no longer between two individuals but rather one human being and one “depraved and fallen human who also, in spite of himself, happens to be elected” and this dude just speaks on behalf of God. So when you disagree with his logic, it’s not really his logic you disagree with. It’s more the logic of God….

So the dudes say lots of things about God as if it’s rational science….

And if you take their rational logic and show a few errors… primarily being “that’s bad logic man….”  the Calvinist runs to the caves with the banner “Only human” above it’s entrance way and point fingers at you from inside the cave and says “look, god’s logic is above our logic so of course it doesn’t make sense in human terms.”

And, so but like, I’m really confused, becuase i just thought you showed me human logic talking about all these how theologies of how God works….

And so but like, Kierkegaard even points out man:

“All we are to speculate and know about God is to be sought in his revelation to us in the form of a mere man. When infinite God became finite as the domain to be sought out. Here the infinite is subordinate to the finite.”

Love is not then out there left to be defined by the sovereign God but here on earth where God’s work intimately actualizes itself in and through us just like he did on the Cross…



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Questions to the Pro-Lifers so-called

Question 1:  If fetuses are human beings… doesn’t that mean that aborted fetuses go to heaven? And if so, shouldn’t we rejoice that a life that was lost on earth is an eternity gained in heaven? Or did children not go to heaven?

Question 2: If you truly and sincerely believed that every day thousands of babies were being killed via abortion by your nation…. how on earth do you live with yourself living under the American flag? Why would you even live in this country who practices such an atrocity? Why even simply shrug your shoulders and leave it up to the political process? Since Roe v. Wade passed, there have been 50 million legal abortions….that’s 8 holocausts over….and here you sit in front of your computer. If there’s anyone to question it’s not Obama or government policy…. it should be ourselves and why we aren’t considering an all out revolution against a government that allows for such an atrocity….If we allowed all these babies to be killed on our watch with passive resistance such as complaints about pro-choicers… I hope to God we get judged for it and how hateful we must be to do nothing more… that is… assuming your pro-life


“That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners.”

                                                         -G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Chesterton Speaketh Against the Protestant Individualist Endemic

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Because Neo-Calvinists think they’re special….

So someone asked me recently, “So dude… like what’s your deal about Calvinism? Why do you care?”

It’s a great question. And frankly I don’t have a reason. None.

And on that note:

Next time someone asks you what calvinism or reform or neo-calvinist theology is… explain it like this:

You know when you are at that fragile age in elementary school when you are start getting competitive but you don’t have the muscle or strength to actually get in a fight yet? Like 2nd or 3rd grade maybe. And there’s no way  YOU can get into an actual fight… least in your mind. So  instead  you get into these semi-comical, semi-ruthless wars of insults… Like calling kids losers and stupidheads and jerkfaces… and you just say mean things and hope that it’s mean enough that it hurts the feelings of your classmate enough to cry…

Well around this age, there is always that one kid in class (for me it was Tommy)… who liked to always fight with his words…. and he liked going up to you calling you an “idiot.” The problem with TOmmy is he wasn’t very creative and didn’t really understand how words worked so he thought “idiot” was insulting. Regretfully for him, idiot was an insult we used at the age of four. So you turn around and say to him “I saw you eating the garbage yesterday” which wasn’t true but was kind of creative.  And a few girls were laughing at him because, it was possibly true, he may have taken to eating real trash. Of course this was all at the level of rumor by now… with no witnesses.

So Tommy, seeing that he’s losing the war of words says….. “Oh yeah, well….

Well My dad could beat up your dad.” And then stares like that means something.

And the rest of us look at each other like “is he serious?” And after further staring we realize, my God this guy is serious….. and so we laugh at him. And Laugh and laugh at Tommy’s expense. And tommy has no idea why.

And yeah, that’s what Calvinists are like: The kid who says “my dad can beat up your dad.”

Calvinism 101 And Other Fuzzy Ways to Pretend to Not Know God

Calvin: Hello my name is John Calvin and my initials are J.C. which is not a coincidence and I wrote this: Okay scripture says that God controls everything. Because He’s God. He knows everything too since yeah, he’s totally…. God. And if He’s God He must be awesome. He’s God and his ways are above our ways, got that? And like, okay, if He knows everything then that means he knows the whole future too. Not to mention that everything has a meaning even if we don’t understand the meaning (Yes that includes the holocaust). Yeah that’s far out there, but it’s the whole truth and if you question this….. well you’re questioning the conductor of the whole show…you know, God…. and compared to God, we are kinda crappy. Wait. No. compared to God we are really really crappy. So crappy that compared to God, we like a pile steaming good for nothing crap. Totally useless crap. And what is  useless crap in comparison with God you know?

Compared to the totally infinite God, the finite, ditzy us can’t really say anything. Because like, we’re sinners duh! And I was like we got scripture too for this. Like it doesn’t matter that strangely the whole God-in-complete-control of everything business started coming about way late in the Old Testament after Greeks started philosophizing to us…. scripture is scripture and we can’t question anything…. Remember, we’re like really really depraved. So depraved that we can’t really do anything to get saved. Because getting saved is Godly stuff…. and how can we humans do anything Godly in comparison to almighty-king-of this-whole creation, one and only God? Therefore it must be God who chooses to save us…. and  not only that, but God does the saving thing too… you know, atonement, redemption, etc….like when you have faith or get saved or what not… Well it wasn’t you who got saved. Remember, you are crap. And how does crap get saved? Well not be doing things that crappy stuff does. It must therefore totally be God. He’s a freak like that and he does whatever he darn well pleases you got me? And you can’t say anything against that because you are depraved. And that’s the truth.

And I can hear all you ego-maniacal self-loving liberals saying  things like… “well how can God say he loves us when he will knowingly send us to hell? Especially if he has the power to save all of us? … God is love you know? And what kind of love would allow people to go to hell when God could do otherwise?”

And I’m all like “trick you crazy. You ain’t God. God’s love is a waaaay beyond the love that we know. Yeah some of this stuff doesn’t make sense but I’m a crappy depraved human being like you so considering our limited mind…well……all I can say is I’ll take God’s way being above the way we think and reason.”

Immanuel Kant:  and I have a sweet name and I like formal dinner parties and I wrote this: Yo Calvin I get what you’re throwing down…. but like we got a few issues here man. I mean I’m with you about the whole infinite God thing…maybe… but I like the effort. But there’s a problem….if we’re so finite and depraved….which…I think we are too… then really we can’t talk much about God and what he’s like and not like. You may say that the Bible tells us the truth of God… but that truth of God  is mediated through a lot of human rationality and finite thinking and reason in terms of you as the Bible’s reader and interpreter. It’s written by humans in a human language… and like us humans have limits to our reasoning skills… so to say that we understand that God’s love is above our version of love is still a kind of human logic right?

Calvin: You’re lost in philosophy gettin’ all ‘ere smartsy fartsy. I got God’s grace ya hear? You wouldn’t understand none of that though. God loves me and I’m chosen. Ur not. And God’ll knock you down a couple of inches if ya don’t shut ur mouth. Don’t come around here questioning God.

I Killed Michael Servetus and I’ll kill you if you don’t shut your mouth.

 Hegel: LOL. First off screw that Calvin guy. If God’s love is above our love…. then that means our human version of love isn’t love at all you nimwit. Stop telling your wife you love her unless you’re that ignorant to think your human crappy love resembles anything like God’s love that apparently is inconceivable to us.

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The Good Time We had When We Focused on What Didn’t Matter All That Much


Tendency: To outline one solid full-truth interpretation of the Bible and God (AKA Having a narrow, simple and rigid hermeneutic)

Result: By Making Christianity based on one all encompassing true hermeneutic that is seeped in heavy theological/Biblical concepts, the unwritten unconscious message is “There really is no hermeneutic  so enjoy life!”

Which seems contradictory but let me explain:

If you have a rigid set of rules to follow and very singular beliefs to possess in order to be a Christian or to belong to a certain denomination, then that also means you are free to not worry about anything else in life.

You see, when people are free to choose their own destiny, they go mad. It’s hard to choose a set of rules to follow for one self. Life can’t be enjoyed because there are so many ramifications for one’s own choice. So it’s easier to just abide by a few simple rules that really have no bearing on much of life given by a church than to choose for one’s self. People act like giving up standards or a theological position is a compromise or an easy way out. No, it’s much harder. Because when one gives up a religious standard they must face what they were avoiding when they were part of a particular religious belief system: You are responsible for yourself and what you do.

So if Christianity speaks to itself only about a holy lifestyle and what you need to do to go to heaven then it let’s everything else go unhinged…..It’s easier  have a Christianity that only deals with Biblical issues and leaves the other fields of interaction that we live out on a daily basis free to do whatever we want with (e.g. family, politics, psychology, work, etc…). Because if Christianity became that robust to speak to the other ways of interaction then it would “profane” the Truth.

So instead the church sticks to narrow issues and gives the rest of life outside of church a free pass from inspection and interrogation under the radicality of Christianity which should truly encompass every facet of our lives.

We need a Christianity that speaks to abstract/concrete reality in every element of our life.

This of course is a difficult and threatening task. It means we have to risk translation. It means we have to get past the standard “is it in the Bible?” minimalist Christianity that only lives on a few rules and has a theology of some sort…… We have to be extrabiblical and this is scary.

But I should mention… the whole “is it in the Bible” nonsense is an extrabiblical construction as is. Just one more narrow hermeneutic to live by so we don’t have to engage with the more difficult things in life: Like taking responsibility for your own life.

Silly Things Christians Do

Here’s a true Christianity in terms of people who really believe: Amish people.

Yeah the one’s who don’t have electricity and grow out beards and live in the 1700’s.

These people are so confident in their belief they even make their kids go into the world for a time and sin their little hearts out. They know that either the world is not what they want and their kids will come running back as secure as ever that being Amish is the way to go…or, the kids stay in the world, which is no sweat of their back. Because they don’t want to force their religion on anyone. They believe they have the truth and since they have the truth, they aren’t going to all mean-faced in a sermon about those who left.

They even would be happy if you came and visited them from time to time to enjoy their simplistic way of living. But don’t worry, you won’t convert them. They like how they live.

But religious Christians…like someApostolics are weird. Weirder than not having electricity. They do this one thing where they celebrate if they hear about a revival by another church of their denomination half a world away. Yet they don’t really seem all that mad if they themselves are not having a revival.

But it gets weirder man. Get this: The go up the wall in hostile rants when Apostolics leave the church or lose standards. They get really really mad if you leave them.

And I just want to ask these religious weirdo’s “why you so angry bro?” They say they have the full truth and everything…. And yet they take it personally when someone goes their own way. If they religious guys really have the full truth, isn’t it the backslider’s loss if they leave? And yet their shaky about everything when you leave. They hate you. They won’t say they hate you. But by all accounts, the red-faced sermons that weirdo’s give when you leave church is for all intensive purposes a hate writ large.

If you have the truth and believe you have the truth, there is no way you take someone leaving personally. You definitely don’t get angry. Maybe you cry for them and always try to extend your love towards them. Because you know you got the Real Thing and it’s no harm to you when someone peaces out of the church.

When people get angry about this stuff, just know they don’t believe that they really have the truth. Leaving the church is just one more piece of evidence to them that you see what the preachers are giving out and you don’t think it’s all they are making it out to be.

The same goes for liberals who leave a conservative church. A lot of times you meet these people and they’re bitter and cranky about the conservative church they left…. And I want to ask them “Why you so mad bro?” A lot of my friends who left are like this. They just have this grudge and it’s like they should be happier after leaving shouldn’t they? When you get bitter over the people who believe differently than you, you can be rest assured that you probably don’t even have much of a truth you’re confident in. And I understand some churches do mean things when you’re on the way out, but it befuddles me when you end up having the same feelings against them. They shouldn’t be worth the energy. When I left my conservative church for a relatively more liberal church,  I expected to have this psychological angst and bitterness because I saw it everywhere else…

But I was delighted to find myself just more at peace and contented because I was acting on the truth that I believed in. When I’m around the people from my old church, it’s awkward. Not because of me. I like being nice and giving hugs and asking how everyone’s life is. But there are those awkward jokers who act like I have AIDS or am possibly possessed and I just feel bad for them… because it’s like….we only got one chance while we are here on earth. And there’s no time to feel animosity about actually living, breathing human beings.

Sure I’ve got the fire of God in me about Truth and the falsities of truths so-called…. And I’ll talk to anyone about how wrong I think they are…. But I’m not going to make it a personal matter. Well outside of the really mean and nasty preachers. Then it’ll get personal. They’re wrong. And I wish they could get past their own frustrations. But I’m not going to let that define who I am.

Maybe I’m just Amish.


Martin Buber Says Something

God is present when I confront you. But if I look away from You, I ignore Him. As long as I merely experience or use you, I deny God, but when I encounter You, I encounter Him.”

-Martin Buber, I and Thou

Christian Love According to Neo-Calvinism/Gnosticism (Hint: It’s atrocious)

First Zizek explains the backdrop:

In an old Christian melodrama, a temporarily blinded ex-soldier falls in love with the nurse who takes care of him, fascinated by her goodness, forming in his mind an idealized image of her; when his blindness is cured, he sees that, in her bodily reality, she is ugly. Aware that his love would not survive the permanent contact with this reality, and that the inner beauty of her good soul has a higher value than her external appearance, he intentionally blinds himself by looking for too long into the sun so that his love for the woman will survive… if there ever was a false celebration of love, this is it.

This is the Christian Love of Gnosticism and Neo-Calvinism. They tell you that they love a God that is a stranger to the world. He is sovereign and above and beyond and completely detached to the trauma and sufferings of this world. Those of this world that God does save is completely through God’s grace which is not of this world, but rather an imposition into the world in spite of the world’s depravity. Basically the world is no reflection of the God who created it according to the Neo-Calvinists. Which is basically the same as saying that the things I write here on this blog have nothing to do with me the author. That is, when I write stupid and incorrect things on this blog, I can wipe hands clean and say “I’m so much bigger than that blog. That blog is just a piece of depraved text. It has nothing to do with me.”

In Christianity if you have an affinity to God who co-exists with death camps, pedophilia and AIDS,  yet somehow God is still benign, then you have faith.

However within Neo-Calvinism (reformed Christianity)….they willingly blind themselves from the sufferings and horrors of this world and act like God is detached from it. They put God at a distance so the trauma of this world is distinct and removed from its architect (God).

Christianity proper knows that the trauma is a reflection of God Himself and yet still loves Him. It doesn’t blind itself to the suffering of the world.

(And if you think I’m exaggerating… read this blog by John Piper)

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