In this in-depth discussion, Lindsay, Boghossian and O’Fallon begin by reviewing the Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolution 9 and then compare and contrast the strategic use of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality in nearly every facet of our society.
In this first of three interviews conducted in New York City, Sovereign Nations Founder Michael O’Fallon and the co-founders of New Discourses, Dr. Peter Boghossian and Dr. James Lindsay, discuss the current tools of societal and institutional deconstruction being introduced throughout civilization under the banner of “Social Justice.” These, they discuss, are presented in a manner not unlike the legendary Trojan Horse.
Dr. Peter Boghossian and Dr. James Lindsay are best known for their work in exposing the impact of “Grievance Studies” in the secular university system. The Grievance Studies affair, also referred to as the “Sokal Squared” scandal (in reference to a similar 1996 hoax by Alan Sokal), was the fourteen-month investigative whistleblowing project of a team composed of these two authors, together with Helen Pluckrose. Its mission was to create bogus academic papers and submit them to academic journals in the areas of cultural, queer, race, gender, fat, and sexuality studies. The authors’ intent was to expose problems in “grievance studies,” a term they apply to a particular approach to studying these academic topics that proceed from a radical political agenda using means adapted from postmodern cultural analysis. Their conclusion is that under that approach “a culture has developed in which only certain conclusions are allowed,” one that “put social grievances ahead of objective truth.” 
The result of their inquiry has created a crisis of confidence around all academic disciplines that fall under the umbrella of cultural studies, particularly those within the “theoretical humanities.” This crisis arises because not only were the methods and ethics applied in their bogus papers intentionally insufficient, but also the methodology they used for them was consistent. It always began with a conclusion or approach that they believed would flatter the political biases of the reviewers and editors evaluating their submissions and then bent the existing literature to reach those conclusions. This is, in a word, sophistry, and it cannot be trusted.
Even worse, they were able to determine that the ultimate reason for their success was not a matter of luck or a failure of the peer review system, but instead of having learned to write consistently with what their reviewers consider exemplary scholarship in those fields. They have every reason to believe that the peer review system worked exactly as intended, and they credit their success to having gained legitimate expertise in the relevant fields of thought, mostly applied postmodern Critical Theory.
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By Jim Fitzgerald — 1 month ago
…the war [between Russia and Urkraine has been cast] in terms of good versus evil, with Ukraine’s true believers on one side, and the fake Christian Putin on the other. Personally, I am much more skeptical about the genuine faith of some evangelicals that have tethered themselves to politicians that for decades have kept us involved in preemptive, interventionist, and illegal wars which killed and displaced millions of people. Many evangelicals have basically given neo-conservatives and neo-liberals in our government a blank check when it comes to being involved in endless wars. Perhaps it’s time to put quotation marks around the word “evangelical.”
Mindy Belz has positioned herself as an apologist for the “It’s all Putin’s fault” narrative in an article she wrote in the Wall Street Journal on March 3, 2022 titled, Ukraine’s Believers and the ‘Christian’ Putin. The quotation marks around the word Christian suggests skepticism about the genuineness of Putin’s Orthodox faith, and allows Ms. Belz to cast the war in terms of good versus evil with Ukraine’s true believers on one side, and the fake Christian Putin on the other.
Personally, I am much more skeptical about the genuine faith of some evangelicals that have tethered themselves to politicians that for decades have kept us involved in preemptive, interventionist, and illegal wars which killed and displaced millions of people. Many evangelicals have basically given neo-conservatives and neo-liberals in our government a blank check when it comes to being involved in endless wars. Perhaps it’s time to put quotation marks around the word “evangelical.”
But not Ms. Belz, she is concerned that some evangelicals have been “Lured…by statements suggesting Mr. Putin is pro-church, antiabortion and anti-same-sex-marriage.” Therefore, “some religious conservatives have been reluctant to acknowledge the Russian leader’s expansionist aims.”
Apparently, Putin’s expansionist aims are obvious to Ms. Belz, and she thinks they should be for everyone else too. Yet she is completely ignoring the insurmountable material reality of the massive eastward expansion of NATO as a reasonable and plausible explanation for Putin’s action in the Ukraine—as ugly and horrifying as that may be.
Since 1998 fourteen countries have been absorbed into NATO from the Baltic states and former Warsaw Pact. This means that America and NATO can potentially establish military bases, deploy troops, and install ballistic missiles all around the Russian Federation.
At the 2008 Bucharest Summit Georgia and Ukraine were promised eventual membership in NATO. In protest Russia announced that it would consider NATO expansion into boarder countries a direct threat to its national security, and said they would do “all they can to prevent Ukraine’s and Georgia’s ascension into NATO.” Russia did exactly what they said they would do, first in Georgia, and then the Ukraine. This should not have been a surprise to anyone who was listening. Yet to this day, the US refuses to acknowledge any of Russia’s security concerns.
Also, Bosnia & Herzegovina have enjoyed a cozy relationship with NATO since the early 1990s. In 2006 they joined the Partnership for Peace, and in 2010 they were invited to join the Membership Action Plan as stepping stones to becoming full NATO members.
Since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have indicated their intention to join the alliance. Indeed, as recently as 5/16/22, the minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnel promised that Finland’s and Sweden’s application to NATO would be fast-tracked, and he hopes that congress would approve it by August of this year. If membership is granted to these applicants it would be a total of nineteen countries added to NATO since the fall of the Soviet Union, and it means that Russia would be essentially surrounded.
Of course, none of this matters to the warmongers at the White House and in the Congress on either side of the aisle. They have their propaganda arm in the mainstream media steadily pushing the strategic lie that this is all Putin’s fault. He is the aggressor, and he is trying to reestablish the old Soviet Union. Unfortunately, many evangelicals either aren’t paying attention, or they’ve already believed the lie. The truth is that NATO is an offensive alliance, not a defensive alliance.
Moreover, what does Ms. Belz mean when she writes about “statements suggesting” Putin is prochurch, antiabortion, and anti-gay marriage? Does she mean that these are not in fact Putin’s views? Or does she mean that even if these are his true convictions, his ill-liberal political bent should be weighted more heavily by evangelicals than his stance on social issues when assessing his Christian bona fides?
What is conspicuous by its absence in Ms. Belz’s article is whether or not these traditional views on social issues are held by the neo-liberal government in Kiev, the protestant churches she claims to speak for, and the new Orthodox Church in Ukraine which broke away from the Russian patriarchy at the behest of the American State Department under Secretary Mike Pompeo.
As a whole the people of Ukraine are nearly as conservative on social issues as are the people of Russia. Evangelicals in Ukraine seem to be holding the conservative line on these issues but are increasingly being pressured by LGBTQ+ activists to soften their position. The metropolitan of the new Orthodox Church in Ukraine was caught on a prank call agreeing that the church in Ukraine needs to soften its views on LGBTQ+ issues and adopt positions more consistent with European values. This is in stark contrast to the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox church which sees the whole trajectory of religious and political institutions in the Ukraine as one big gay pride parade. And he is not completely wrong on this point.
Finally, Ms. Belz cites the former finance minister in Ukraine, Natalie Jaresko. Ms. Jaresko stated that Putin cannot stand to see “a Slavic nation on his border that has a successful democracy, albeit messy. He cannot abide an example of democratic success next door while he remains an example of oppression.”
One wonders why Ms. Jaresko, a US citizen and former U.S. Department of State official, was appointed as Ukraine’s Minister of Finance in the first place if Ukraine is such a shining example of democracy? As it turns out, many of Ukraine’s top ministerial posts are held by foreigners from the US, Lithuania, Georgia, and elsewhere. Many more lower ranking positions are also held by foreigners.
Needless to say, none of these foreigners running the government were democratically elected by the will of the Ukrainian people. They were all appointed because of outside pressure from Western institutions such as IMF, EBDR, WTO, the European Union and the U.S. Department of State. With this in mind, it seems unlikely that Putin is viewing Ukraine as anything close to resembling a successful democracy. The facts would suggest that we shouldn’t either.
Jim Fitzgerald is a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and a missionary with Equipping Pastors International.
By Craig A. Carter — 8 months ago
Written by Craig A. Carter |
Monday, October 18, 2021
The biggest obstacle to a recovery of confessional Protestant faith today is that, as moderns, we are cut off from our heritage by the philosophical naturalist metaphysics that we have unconsciously and uncritically absorbed from our environment. We desperately need to step outside of modernity long enough to perceive its weaknesses and limitations. But we only absorb contemporary media and read recently-published books and we rarely encounter premodern thought. Even more rarely do we encounter premodern thought that is profound and deep. Perhaps stepping into a Gothic cathedral or listening to Handel’s Messiah evokes that same longing for beauty and truth that we sense in Scripture on the rare occasion that we meditate on it without distraction.
Protestantism has been in crisis mode since the early nineteenth century. The effects of the Enlightenment began to affect Protestant theology in the eighteenth century, but after Kant, knowledge of God became increasingly problematic and Christianity, in general, began to pall as a result of the philosophical naturalism that settled over Western culture like a blanket snuffing out faith. This trend accelerated after the Darwinian revolution in the mid-century and Protestantism was most affected. The Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was the result.
Another Religion Altogether
Protestant liberal theology was a desperate attempt to save as much Christian content as possible from what Walter Lippmann would later term “the acids of modernity.” The liberal project involved restating Christianity within the constraints of modern metaphysics and modern metaphysics was essentially the rejection of the broadly Platonist metaphysics that had formed the mainstream of the Western philosophical tradition for well over 2000 years.
As the philosopher Lloyd Gerson has demonstrated with great scholarship in a series of books, the main alternative to Platonism historically has been philosophical naturalism and, in the nineteenth century, philosophical naturalism triumphed decisively over Platonism. This was the context in which liberal theology attempted to preserve at least some elements of the Bible and theology. Even though many Christian words such as “sin” and “redemption” were retained, their meaning was dramatically changed. The definitive judgment of the failure of the liberal project was pronounced by J. Gresham Machen in 1923 when he said that liberalism is not Christianity, but another religion altogether.
From Fundamentalism on through the period of Neo-orthodoxy to the rise of Evangelicalism, the search for a Biblical and orthodox expression of Christianity has been intense. If liberal theology is no answer, what is to be done? If modernity excludes Christian orthodoxy how can we live in the modern world as Christians?
What it Means to be Protestant
Our problem today is that we do not understand the Protestant confessions and so we do not really understand what it means to be Protestants. We believe that the Reformation recovered biblical teaching after centuries of decline in the late Medieval Roman church but we cannot give an account of how the content of the confessions expresses biblical truth. Contemporary Evangelicals are not really Protestants; for most of them, Protestantism is a movement in history.
That in turn means that the great Evangelical movement in the Anglo-Saxon, trans-Atlantic world is cut off from its own heritage. Some of us may read John Calvin and John Owen occasionally, but we do not comprehend them on certain points and much of their depth escapes us. We do not grasp what some have termed “reformed catholicity.” In what sense are we in communion with Irenaeus, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas? We cannot say.
Soft Theistic Mutualism
If you doubt me, consider the sad decline in the doctrine of God that we have seen over the past 50 years as documented in James Dolezal’s little book, All That is in God (Reformation Heritage Books, 2017). There Dolezal shows that “soft theistic mutualism,” a view of God in which God is in time and affects and changes the world and the world, in turn, affects and changes God. This is essentially a pagan, mythological understanding of God and yet it has wormed its way into otherwise orthodox and evangelical writers. This is astonishing!
It indicates that something very deep and fundamental is malfunctioning in contemporary theology and the danger is that this view of God will – if not corrected – metastasize into a spiritual life-threatening cancer in a generation or two. Every confession of the Reformation and post-preformation period, including the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Augsburg Confession, the Westminster Confession and the Second London Confession, teaches that God is immutable and impassible. And none see any contradiction between affirming those attributes of God and simultaneously affirming that God speaks and acts in history to judge and save. Moderns cannot, for the life of them, comprehend how they can be so inconsistent.
My contention is that conservative Protestant theology today needs to undertake an alternative to the liberal project that is comparable in scope. We need to channel a great deal of time, energy and resources into a project of ressourcement. This French term brought over into English means a return to the classic sources of Christianity including the church fathers, Thomas Aquinas and other forms of premodern faith. Recently, in an encouraging development in the work of a number of theologians, many inspired by John Webster, the project of ressourcement has taken the form of looking back to the post-Reformation, Reformed scholastic tradition.
This movement is growing and spreading among many who find the shallow biblicism and ahistorical forms of evangelical faith that are so common today to be unsatisfying. Scholars like Richard Muller and Carl Trueman have led the way in recovering the riches of seventeenth-century continental and English pastors and theologians who utilized the metaphysics of the Great Tradition to do theology and write and expound the great confessions of Protestantism. We may not understand their philosophical assumptions, but we can see that they took the Bible seriously and wrote doctrinal treatises that need to be taken seriously by believers. CLICK TO TWEET
The biggest obstacle to a recovery of confessional Protestant faith today is that, as moderns, we are cut off from our heritage by the philosophical naturalist metaphysics that we have unconsciously and uncritically absorbed from our environment. We desperately need to step outside of modernity long enough to perceive its weaknesses and limitations. But we only absorb contemporary media and read recently-published books and we rarely encounter premodern thought. Even more rarely do we encounter premodern thought that is profound and deep. Perhaps stepping into a Gothic cathedral or listening to Handel’s Messiah evokes that same longing for beauty and truth that we sense in Scripture on the rare occasion that we meditate on it without distraction. But how do we get from here to there?
One practice John Webster urged on his students was that of reading sympathetically the great texts of the tradition. Even better, he suggested, was the practice of apprenticing ourselves to one of the great masters for a time by seeking to immerse ourselves in their thought. C. S. Lewis pointed out that reading old books is important, not because ancient writers never made mistakes, but because they tended to make different mistakes than our contemporaries do. We can spot those mistakes because they stand out to us, whereas the mistakes we and all our contemporaries commonly make seem like common sense to us.
So what to do? I believe that we need to do whatever it takes to break out of the cave of modernity and breath the free air of the premodern period where philosophical naturalism is not stifling the truth. But how? One way to do it is to engage in the study of ancient philosophical texts so as to be initiated into the great conversation that has gone on between the greatest minds in the Western tradition for 2000 years.
By Wade Burleson — 8 months ago
Meta and Mark Zuckerberg wish to make money. They will addict your children in order to do so. The next time you see your child slap on a VR headset, find out if they are entering the metaverse. You have a responsibility as a parent to know. If you are an adult emersed in the metaverse, you are an addict and don’t even know it.
Facebook announced a name change for its company this week. Meta is its new name.
You probably have little idea of the significance of the name change. I believe Meta has the capability of destroying the discipline, drive, and determination in future generations of Americans.
Have you heard of the Greatest Generation? These were American men and women who sacrificed everything during World War II to protect our land, our liberty, and the American way of life.
Meta could be the seedbed that destroys what the Greatest Generation obtained.
Meta is a Greek word that means “higher,” or “beyond,” or “behind.” It is carried over into English to refer to an alternate reality to something concrete. Meta (Facebook) is wanting to help you create an alternate life (e.g. “second life”) through virtual reality that takes you “beyond” the real-life that you are living on earth.
Meta is a drug. It is a form of escape. It is a game.
But don’t tell people involved in Meta that it is a game. It will anger them. Just like when you tell a person hooked on heroin that they’re addicted. “What do you know? Nothing that feels this good and is as beautiful as what I have experienced can be bad for me.”
Oh, yes it can.
Here’s how Meta works. Meta (Facebook) will soon be opening storefronts around the world to sell you next-generation virtual reality glasses called Oculus. Slap those glasses on, integrate with the digital world, and soon, you will be living a Second Life, an alternate reality.
In this virtual world that exists in your mind, you will interact with other people who enter your Second Life by asking you (audibly through Oculus) if they can join you in your virtual house, your virtual business, your virtual lakefront home, your virtual gym, your virtual vacation, etc. You live the life that you want to live but can’t live in the real universe.
It’s the metauniverse. You are in control of parallel universes that you digitally create to escape the reality of the one real universe in which you live. You become your own god. You ignore the real God. You go beyond the real truth to create your own version of the truth. You go beyond reality to escape the harsh world in which you really live – and which the one true God can help you thrive, not just survive.
But why bother with the real world?
In the digital metauniverse of Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, people can hide behind an Avatar (a character) that they create in the metauniverse. The Avatar represents them in their alternate reality.
Here’s how it works.
You upload an image of your face (or someone else’s face) after digitally manipulating it to remove those characteristics you don’t like.