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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

We could use more major studies on today’s democratic socialist. These people are a major force in our schools and colleges and it would be helpful to better understand their thinking. At first glance, they appear to have good hearts and questionable intelligence. What gives? (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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In office since 2013, Premier Kathleen Wynne has an approval rating of 21 percent. How does one explain such remarkable unpopularity?

An economic powerhouse since its birth, the province of Ontario is now in a mess. Many critics point to the economic mismanagement of the governing Liberal Party. The past nine budgets have run a deficit and the province is carrying a $300,000,000,000 debt. Although few Ontario taxpayers are happy about paying $11.4 billion in interest on the debt this year, there is another issue that concerns a growing number of people. Wynne’s sex-education curriculum has stunned the moral sensibilities of many.

Wynne’s government spent millions of dollars to promote its new sex-ed curriculum introduced to Ontario’s publicly funded schools in September 2015. The openly gay Wynne made considerable effort to satisfy the tastes of the LGBTQ community.

Many parents are less than enthusiastic with a curriculum introducing homosexuality to grade three students and anal sex to grade six students. There has been a rise of reports of children exposed to pornography, including grade one students watching porn on school-issued tablets.

Parents have responded in a number of ways: letter writing, signing petitions, demonstrations, and pulling their children out of public schools – a significant number of students have left the school system. For example, the Toronto District School Board announced a decrease in enrollment of 2,600 students. At one Toronto public school, 100 students are still absent. There has been a rise in homeschooling and placing students in private Christian schools.

Recently, the grassroots organization Parents As First Educators wrote: “We have seen parents rally across the province, demanding that their voices be heard. These are our children, our responsibilities – not the government’s. After that sham of a consultation process, the Liberal government needs to scrap the sex-ed curriculum, and start respecting parents as the first educators.” I applaud the activism of this group, but a major obstacle is that the secular media and education elites see no problem with progressive sex education.

Wynne has caused much economic pain, but she is also causing a lot of pain with her agenda of social engineering. I expect that Wynne will continue to be an unpopular ideologue until her departure, hopefully in the next election.

This article was originally posted at The Conservative Prof. https://theconservativeprof.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/the-unpopular-ontario-leader/

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On a balmy Friday evening in the early summer of 2015 the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto held what it called “A Thought-Provoking Conversation on the Future of Physician-Assisted Suicide”. Four experts representing different shades on the spectrum of opinion debated one another and answered questions. The audience comprised 200 or more medical professionals, medical students and members of the general public. At the beginning of the evening they were polled on the question, “Do you think Canada is ready for physician-assisted suicide?” (more…)

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Are Faculty Replaceable?

Dr. Davis speaking at Myles Leitch`s farewell (Apr 13, 2015)

Dr. Davis speaking at Myles Leitch`s farewell (Apr 13, 2015)

This post originally appeared at TyndalePhilosophy.com, the blog of the Tyndale Philosophy Department.

This past Monday my school, Tyndale University College, hosted a farewell party for Dr. Myles Leitch, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, who is leaving to join the Canadian Bible Society. In addition to helping develop and run the Linguistics Department at Tyndale, he’s also been an Affiliated Member of the Philosophy Department. Though his departure is good for him (and even better for the Canadian Bible Society), it is a blow to our department.

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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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Television coverage of the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia has included a lesson on whitewashing communism. However, Vladimir Putin is only one of a long list of politicians guilty of brushing over the horror of revolutionary socialism. Even President Barack Obama may need to read history more carefully. Last July, Obama stated that he and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang “discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.” But how accurate is the notion of Ho Chi Minh as some type of Jeffersonian leader? (more…)

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While hopeful of a united front within the pro-life camp, I have dismissed an incremental approach that takes the form of gestational legislation.  Please note, I do think some incremental approaches should be pursued, but not ones that legally discriminate against persons that fall under an arbitrary limit.

But I also suggested that any success in achieving gestational legislation would effectively neuter the pro-life cause thereafter.  I want to expand on that here.

The chief reason is that the position clearly does not even have the courage to reflect the convictions of those that espouse it, and many pro-lifers do not.  Even its advocates acknowledge that gestational limits impose an arbitrary determination on when life begins, but they excuse it as a tactical manoeuvre.  But they fool no one, and that is precisely why any legislation would be ineffective.

For one thing, the pro-life movement would be exposed for operating on false pretenses, and having a ‘hidden agenda’.  Since integrity is essential to the pro-life cause, positions that are so nakedly cynical must be rejected out of hand, particularly in an age marked by cynicism and ‘interest group politics’.

Furthermore, laws cannot effect change on their own, though it is characteristic of legal positivists to think that they can: hearts and minds must be changed to be willing to follow them, and that can only happen when laws are clearly connected to morality and the public good.

The medical establishment in Canada has already demonstrated between 1969-1988 that it viewed the unborn to be unworthy of the treatment of persons, aborting large numbers and thus overruling the standing prohibitions on abortion (using its own, varying, prudential judgment as medical experts, and its own understanding of ‘harm’). There is every reason to think it would do no differently with a gestational limit on abortion.

Finally, adopting a compromise position also renders the pro-life movement defenseless against the same practice being implemented at the other end of the war on life as it has been given by God:  euthanasia.

Gestational limits and euthanasia

On that front, I understand that Malcolm Muggeridge predicted that the next step after legalized abortion would be legalizing euthanasia … and he was right.  Both the legal and medical establishment is moving in that direction.

Why was it so obvious to him?  For the reason I have articulated throughout these posts.  Muggeridge saw that the primary battlefield was the issue of sovereignty and the authority of the state to define life and law over against God and the criminal code which rested on common law or Biblical law in the English tradition.  In Canada, the State’s expansion of its sovereignty has largely transpired through an unelected judiciary which appeals to the terms of the Charter, interpreted in opposition to this same tradition.

 

The Messianic state and the ‘official’ human being

The modern Messianic state sees itself as the author, giver and definer of life, hence its increasingly frequent redefinitions of marriage, family, gender, human rights, and so forth.  The economic needs of the modern socialistic state will lead to increasing pressure for euthanasia against the will of patients in the same way it has promoted a sexual agenda in schools, defying religious objections and the will of parents.

I can envisage a time very soon when the state will seek to determine an upper limit to life and recommend mandatory euthanasia as a therapeutic measure for the good of one and all.  It is already effectively happening in places like the U.K Would we pursue incremental legislation then based on an age of death as a practical countermeasure?  If the pro-life movement were to proceed in establishing gestational legislation on abortion as its modus operandi, then it would be expected to do so as a ‘reasonable accommodation’.

The law of man and the law of God

The issue is not finally about life in the womb, it’s about sovereignty and law – is it God or man who decides?  The history of the West, as even its critics acknowledge, reveals the triumph over the barbarism of paganism and the Caesar-cult through the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and the consequent implementation of Biblical law.  It formed the foundation of the modern nation state and the rights and liberties enjoyed within it.  These liberties are currently under assault as an explicitly anti-Christian definition of human nature and thus of human rights ensues.

Can the state be “pre-political” and essentially define a new religion for the people like that of pre-Christian paganism? We can’t win the pro-life cause until we asset the supremacy of God in these areas again.

This is my final objection to gestational limit legislation.  It conceives the pro-life position too narrowly.  I see the butchery of the unborn by the medical establishment as an extension of public policy as a symptom of the overreach of the State into areas that are ordained by God to lie in the provenance of the church and the family.  Our war is not against flesh and blood, but the principalities and powers, which tend to reside in impersonal institutions.

The true war (the larger pro-life issue) is a struggle against the Messianic state, which claims to determine all of life – when it begins, when it ends; what constitutes a ‘quality’ or ‘healthy’ life; what ‘charity’ or welfare is; what marriage is; the nature and prerogatives of the family (which includes the content and nature of education); the nature of human sexuality; the nature of justice and injustice, etc..

The point I want to argue is that the only consistent position to take in a war that is already upon us on all these fronts simultaneously (because theological liberalism and the human sciences, which have followed their lead, have been preparing the battle for the past two centuries) is that it is God alone who defines what life is in all its aspects, not the State.

That’s the ‘big picture’.  It’s the tale of two cities in our age.

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Margaret Wente has a column in today’s Globe and Mail, which identifies the problem with the Canadian public education system as the teacher’s unions, as I argued in a post the other day.  She offers no solutions: apparently the obvious cannot be said out loud in the mainstream media yet.  But the fact remains that no significant improvement to the public school system will be possible until the teacher’s unions are broken.   (more…)

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