Rob and Susie have been hard at it with two new animations. A team effort here:
And (though I am not 100% sure if this link will work) Susie has done her first solo animation here.
I urge a return to the traditional or Retributive theory not solely, not even primarily, in the interests of society, but in the interests of the criminal.
According to the Humanitarian theory, to punish a man because he deserves it, and as much as he deserves, is mere revenge, and, therefore, barbarous and immoral. It is maintained that the only legitimate motives for punishing are the desire to deter others by example or to mend the criminal. When this theory is combined, as frequently happens, with the belief that all crime is more or less pathological, the idea of mending tails off into that of healing or curing and punishment becomes therapeutic. Thus it appears at first sight that we have passed from the harsh and self-righteous notion of giving the wicked their deserts to the charitable and enlightened one of tending the psychologically sick. What could be more amiable?
Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. But to be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we ‘ought to have known better’, is to be treated as a human person made in God’s image.
Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful. That is the important paradox. As there are plants which will flourish only in mountain soil, so it appears that Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice; transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed, all the more dangerous because it is still called by the same name as the mountain variety. But we ought long ago to have learned our lesson. We should be too old now to be deceived by those humane pretensions which have served to usher in every cruelty of the revolutionary period in which we live.
The language of the [6th]commandment itself leads to ... broad applications. The Hebrew verb ratsakh found in this commandment is translated 'murder' or 'kill'. We are familiar with 'Thou shalt not kill' from the KJV. The ESV ... translates 'You shall not murder.' Most often, ratsakh refers to killing that is unlawful or forbidden. It is not used for the killing of animals or for killing in war. That would suggest that the best translation here is 'murder,' not the more general 'kill.' However, the term differs from our English word murder in that it applies to manslaughter and negligent homicide.Relevant Scriptures
Since the commandment mandates love, its ramifications are exceedingly broad, broad enough to cover the whole of ethics from its distinct perspective.* on legitimate forms of anger see also: Psalm:7:11; John 2:13-17; Deuteronomy 32:21; Exodus 34:14; Numbers 5:11-31; Psalm 69; Psalm 109; Psalm 137; Psalm 139:19-22; Ephesians 4:26; Titus 1:7; Psalm 103:8.
What the sixth commandment is basically saying is that life and death are God's business. He is Lord of life and death, and we may not take life without his authorisation. Rather, we must respect life as an aspect of our reverence for God. We should especially respect human life because it is the image of God, that image that grounds the first prohibition of bloodshed in Scripture. Genesis 9:5-6The Doctrine of the Christian Life (Theology of Lordship), p685
Death, like life, is physical and spiritual. Physical death ends our participation in earthly life. Spiritual death (Eph 2:5) is a loss of fellowship with God, the Lord of life. Unless interrupted by God's grace, spiritual death leads to eternal death, to permanent separation from God and therefore from his blessing (John 3:36).BUT...
God delights in life. It is a measure of the seriousness of sin that death pervades it. It is a measure of the greatness of salvation that in Christ death is swallowed by life (2 Corinthians 5:4).The Doctrine of the Christian Life (Theology of Lordship) p684-5
Some readers may be surprised to learn that a lack of cheerfulness violates the sixth commandment! ... [I was one of them!] The Puritans saw, among other things, that 'a joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones' (Proverbs 17:22). As modern medicine is discovering anew, cheerfulness has physical consequences. It promotes life. So the sixth commandment calls us, among many other things, to be cheerful. The Doctrine of the Christian Life (Theology of Lordship) p686.
'The progressive connotations of this saying are wholly illusory. It actually looks back and says that the trend of which the present moment is only the most visible manifestation is the inevitable one, that anyone who disagrees with it is trying to squeeze the whole world into a time machine and return to an earlier era. But in refusing to believe that an identified historical trend may be challenged, the historicists have divinized history. In any given case, they have absolutized this trend and thereby put history's seal of approval on this status quo, one, no doubt, that is moving their way*.
As a matter of simple historical observation, it would be hard to find a common saying as implausible as this .... The reason intelligent observers of the past found the cycle theory of history persuasive is precisely because it seemed as it the clock had been turned back.' e.g. alternations between democracy and authoritarianism, high and low hemlines, moral permissiveness and prudery, war and peace, and so on.* To continue the 'time' metaphor ... their values are 'up-to-date' and their opponents are not.
The conflicts to which historicist polemics are applied often center on the identity of the desirable destination.Idols for destruction: Christian faith and its confrontation with American society, Ch 1 Idols of History, p15-17
The idolatries of history exalt an age (past, present, future), or a process, or an institution, or a class, or a trend and make it normative. They place the entire meaning of life within the historical process or some part of it, allowing nothing extrinsic to it. Historical events in their relationships exhaust the whole meaning of history.
Idols for destruction: Christian faith and its confrontation with American society, Ch1 Idols of History, p13
You won’t find faith or hope down a telescope
You won’t find heart and soul in the stars
You can break everything, got the chemicals
But you can’t explain a love like ours.
Its the way we feel, yeah this is real
Its the way we feel, yeah this is real
Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone
-- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
Some people admit that it might be nice to have the children in a Christian atmosphere but ...
'How can you be specifically Christian when you teach the children that two times two are four?' Well, our answer is that if you cannot teach arithmetic to the glory of God, you cannot do it any other way because it cannot be done any other way by anybody. And by this I do not mean that you have breathed in a sort of Christian atmosphere about the problems of arithmetic in the sense that you have opened the school session with prayer a couple of hours before. By a Christian atmosphere I mean first of all that deep conviction on the part of the teacher that no fact is teachable except when brought into relationship with God.
(Foundations of Christian Education: Addresses to Christian Teachers (Christian perspectives) Ch 1, Antithesis in Education, p18.
As theists our contention is that there are no facts but theistic facts, while the contention of our opponents, expressed or unexpressed, is that facts are facts whether God exists or does not exist.The only reason why we are justified in having Christian schools is that we are convinced that outside of a Christian-theistic atmosphere there can be no more than an empty process of one abstraction teaching abstractions to other abstractions.
(Foundations of Christian Education: Addresses to Christian Teachers (Christian perspectives) Ch 1, Antithesis in Education, p17.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1v2)
Thus, the Spirit had been inserted into the earthly realm from the heavenly realm, proceeding from the Father and the Son, evidently at the precise moment of the act of creation. The creation does not exist apart from the presence of the moving Spirit within her. God never needs to 'enter' the creation; by His Spirit He has been present within her from the very beginning.
Then God said, 'Let there be light.' The only source for that light is the Spirit Himself. When God appears later on in the Bible, He is surrounded by the glory, which is associated with the Spirit. Indeed, His glory hovers over Israel in the pillar of cloud and fire. Thus, the initial light came from the Spirit. Light is energy, fire; so no fire is brought into the earth from heaven. Fire transforms things, and so begins the transfiguration of the earth, from glory to glory.
... no 'fact' is seen as it really is unless it is seen in its correct relationship to God. Since God has made the space-time facts, their relation to God is naturally the most important thing to know about them. But more than that, it is not really enough to say that the most important thing to know about a 'fact' is its relationship to God because that very relationship to God exhausts the meaning of the fact. When you have seen the 'space-time facts' in their relationship to God, you have for the first time seen the fact about the 'facts'; that is, you have for the first time seen the facts in distinction from bare facts. Accordingly, anyone who does not see the space-time facts before the background or in the pattern of the absolute personality of God does not see any facts but only thinks he does. It is not true to say that everybody has the facts to begin with. On the contrary, only a Christian theist has the facts because there are none but theistic facts. In one sense, we could of course say that all mean 'have' facts, since all live in God's created order and all move in the general revelation of God. But the nontheist refuses to acknowledge the Creator who alone can be the proper context for interpreting any fact. Therefore nontheists deal only with 'bare facts,' that is, with abstractions that have no meaning.
(Foundations of Christian Education: Addresses to Christian Teachers (Christian perspectives) Ch 1, Antithesis in Education, p16.
In the beginning God created the heavens(or heaven) and the earth.Here is what Bruce Waltke says about Genesis 1v1 (as quoted in Jordan's book):
'First, 'heaven and earth' is a hendiadys (a single expression of two apparently separate parts) denoting 'the cosmos,' the complete, orderly, harmonious universe. For example, the hendiadys 'kith and kin' indicates all of one's relatives. More specifically, the hendiadys is a merism, a statement of opposites to indicate totality, like the compounds, 'day and night,' 'summer and winter'.
Now the elements of a compound must be studied as a unit, not in isolation. The hendiadys, 'heaven and earth,' cannot be understood by treating 'heaven' and 'earth' as separate elements any more than 'butterfly' can be decoded by investigating 'butter' and 'fly' in isolation.'And here is Jordan's response:
Well, in isolation from everything else in the Bible, and in isolation from the rest of Genesis 1, this might make sense. It is true that heaven and earth are two sides of one cosmic coin, and so the phrase might just mean 'cosmos'. How do we know, however, when to take a phrase like this as a hendiadys and when to take it as two distinguished things? We can only know from context, not from the words themselves.
...in Genesis 1 we find that God called the firmament 'heaven' (v8) and this firmament-heaven is the place where the sun, moon, and stars are located (v14-19). Is this the same as the 'heaven' of Genesis 1:1? No, because there is water above this firmament heaven (v6-7). Where is that water located? Well, later in the Bible we see a sea of ice around the heavenly throne of God (Ezek.1:22; Rev.4:6). Thus, the narrative text of Genesis 1 clearly assumes that there is a created throne-heaven as well as an 'earth' that, in the largest sense, is a lower cosmos including the stars. [bold verses are my addition]Now, if you are like me this hurts your head!
This heaven (Genesis 1v1) is the 'highest' or 'third' heaven. In Genesis 1:8, God created the 'firmament' within the earth, and called it 'heaven.' The stars were placed in this 'firmament heaven,' and birds are said to fly in it (Genesis 1:17, 20). Thus neither the atmospheric heaven or 'outer space' were established until later in the week, and are actually part of the original 'earth' of Genesis 1:1.
The heaven created in Genesis 1:1, then, is the special throne-house of God. 'Thus says the LORD, 'Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool''(Isaiah 66:1; cf. Psalm 11:4; Matthew 5:34; 23:22; Acts 7:49). It exists (to use the language of science fiction) in another dimension from earth, infinitely near to us, yet also infinitely far away.
The Bible shows us quite a lot about heaven. In fact, if we do not understand heaven, we cannot do our work here on earth; for we pray 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' If we do not know what heaven is like, we cannot imitate it on earth. Thus the Bible frequently opens heaven to give man a view of what it is like. Ezekiel's visions of the divine Glory (Ezekiel 1:1ff.; 3:12ff.; 10:1ff.; 11:22ff.; 43:2ff.) are a good place to start. As we shall see, the 'glory-cloud' of God is a picture of heaven; when it appears, we get a view of heaven.
“an unnecessary, offensive and dangerous gesture”so say the Barnabas Fund.
In Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, one of the main characters expresses it as his opinion that the gods will certainly not take it amiss of us if we have made some mistakes about them, inasmuch as we have done the best that we could. Now such a way of presentation presupposes that man has never had any contact with God and has never had any information about the truth of reality, which would make it an insult to God to think mistakenly about him and his universe.
(Foundations of Christian Education: Addresses to Christian Teachers (Christian perspectives) Ch 1, Antithesis in Education, p11.
In the beginning God created heaven and earth. He created two things, not one. These two things are, by implication, related to each other, linked in some way. Later this will be spelled out. ...
The earth as it was made was good, of course, but not yet developed. It lacked structure, was empty, and was dark. Nothing like this is said of heaven. Indeed, it is clear from the rest of the Bible that heaven was made structured, full, and bright from the beginning. The angelic host does not multiply, and so new angels do not appear in the process of time. Humanity was created as a race that matures into a host, while the angels were created as a host from the beginning.
The earth matures in a way that heaven does not. Heaven is thus the model or paradigm for the earth. The earth is to grow more and more heaven-like. in the rest of the Bible, when heaven opens, men see the models they are to reproduces on the earth, as when Moses was shown the model of the Tabernacle and David the model for the temple.
How can anyone stand in a forensic relationship to an impersonal law? You cannot get any notion of what it might possibly mean that you should be legally responsible to law as such.
(Foundations of Christian Education: Addresses to Christian Teachers (Christian perspectives) Ch 1, Antithesis in Education, p8.