Saturday, March 29, 2008

Derren Brown - Frail Free Will - Part 2

Here's another Darren Brown video. This time, the subliminal message is more subtle. Watch and see if you notice it/them.

I suppose you did not.

Spoiler alert:

If you do not want to see how subliminal message was conveyed, don't read the rest.

Really, seriously, if you do not watch the video before you read this, the video will be much less interesting for you.


So, the Irish girl is given the subliminal message at aproximately 22-23 seconds into the video. As DB pulls her out of the crowd he says rather indistinctly and rapidly "right leg up" right after he says "come up here with me."

The girl obviously did not recognize that she had heard the message then, but she did hear it, which is how DB was able to "predict" her movement. She did recognize that the thought was not her own, which is interesting.

The message for the second girl is a little less clear. It may have been edited out - the audio seems to jump from "can you take your bag off" and "and again your hat" it may be that the actual message has been edited out.

There is, however, another possible answer, which is that she is simply adopting what she hears from the young man behind her. In other words, DB may be using a slightly different technique here, in which the person's own thought is supplanted by the subliminal suggestion.

With the third guy, the subliminal messages are mostly visual. DB makes repeated guestures to his own head, and even has the young man put his fingers in his ears. Nevertheless, fingers in the ears still permits some barely audible sound through, which - combined with DB himself practically demonstrating how to make the guesture at 3:05 and again at 3:07, and then finally to tell the young man to unstop his ears.

For the crowd, the subliminal message is both DB's own gestures, as well as the reinforcing image of the young man behind DB. Notice that the young man is taller, so the young man's hands appear to be on DB's head.

This mostly just goes to show how predictable and susceptible to cause and effect humans are, even when they think they are exercising their so-called "free will."

Now, I am not discounting the possibility that spiritual forces are at play - I simply don't know. There seem to be fairly reasonable physical explanations for many of the tricks that DB plays - and yet the human mind is not completely physical.

Regardless, though, this video fairly transparently demonstrates the fact that the human will is subject to the laws of cause and effect. That's not surprising: everything but God Himself is subject to such laws. God is the only uncaused cause: not man, not angels, not demons, and nothing else in the created order.


P.S. Word of caution: DB is opposed to Christianity. In some of his other videos he demonstrates how he can perform the Benny Hinn-style "slaying with the spirit" miracles, and how he can convince people to believe in "god." DB is, of course, unable to do the dramatic miracles that Christ and the Apostles did such as healing lepers, curing men born blind, making cripples walk, or raising the dead: the kind of miracles that ceased with the completion of Scripture.

(Hat Tip to Machaira for the name of that Christianity-embarassing televangelist.)

Why Did Adam Sin?

One reader ("Orthodox") asked:

So why did Adam sin? Because God made him bad?
Adam ate the forbidden fruit because he listened to his wife, rather than God.

Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Adam did not take it because he was deceived by the serpent (though the woman was deceived by the serpent):

1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Adam explained his own action this way:

Genesis 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

So, in the end, what is the easiest answer we can give?

Adam loved the gift more than the giver. He loved his wife more than he loved God.

Adam was placed in a situation in which he was tempted to sin, and Adam did not resist the temptation.

God made Adam good, but God also made Adam fallible. At the appointed time, Adam fell - and in him all those whom he represented: his wife and all his natural descendents.

Then, in the fullness of time, God sent His only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to be the second Adam. All those who obtain life from Adam, die with Adam, but those who die with Christ from him receive life everlasting.

Praise be to God!


P.S. As an aside, it's worth noting that philosophically we understand Adam as having a free will that was not bound by a corrupt nature. That is to say, while Adam might have had certain external constraints, he had different internal contraints than Cain, Abel, and Seth had. His will was not a slave to sin until he fell. Adam before the fall is not similar to us before grace. We are born in bondage to sin, slaves to sin. We are born not as the sons of God, but as enemies of God. It is only by the exceeding mercy of God that any of us are saved.

Spelling Turretin

My preferred spelling of Turretin's name is "Turretin," with two total t's. There are, however, several variants:

1. Turrettin: this is by far the most common variant, perhaps even more common than my preferred spelling.

2. Turrettini: this is an attempt to return the family name to its original Italian.

4. Turrettinus / Turretinus: these are attempts to Latinize the family name.

5. Turretine: this is an odd (but surprisingly popular) variant that seems to be based phonetically on a mispronunciation.

6. Turtin: this is a rather crude phonetic variant.

One occasionally sees one of 1-4 with only one "r," but this is probably just a spelling error. Also, occasionally - due to older typefacing - one sees a "v" for the "u"('s), particular in the Latinized forms.

There's also some variation as to the first name, again my first choice is first, followed by the most to least common variants.

1. Francis

2. François / Francois

3. Fransiscus


Friday, March 28, 2008

Reconciling Universal Redemption with Limited Decree to Save

I had asked:
How is purchasing a redemption for both believers and non-believers consistent with decreeing to save only believers?

Dan (aka Godismyjudge), at Arminian Chronicles replied (link to Dan's reply):

1) the decree to save believers should not be understood as foreknowledge of individual believers (i.e. Sue and John, but not Robbie), but rather the formula that anyone who believes shall be saved

2) that decree was preceded by a decree that Christ, by His death, shall be the basis of salvation (this decree can't be limited to the elect, because is explanatorily prior to the decree of election)

3) the decree regarding Christ's death means salvation is possible for everyone through Christ's death

I answer:

I don't find Dan's answer very clear, partly because he uses words that either have different meanings to him than to me or have no standard meaning (such as "foreknowledge" and "explanatorily"). Allow me to try to explain Dan's position for him.

As to (1-2), it seems to me that Dan is trying to say that the decree to purchase redemption for mankind universally was a first decree, and that a decree to apply that redemption to the class of believers was a second decree, and that God's advance knowledge of who would be members of that class follows the second decree. I think that by "explanatorily prior" Dan means what we call "logically prior." Thus, we should not read a temporal sequence into the order.

I hope that if I have misunderstood Dan, he will correct my misunderstanding. Assuming I have correctly understood him:

a) The order seems purposeless or at cross purposes;
b) For example, the first decree seems to be aimed at a purpose to save mankind universally, whereas the second decree seems to be aimed (at least in part) in saving mankind only partially;
c) The attempted escape is to place God's advance knowledge of the membership of the class of believers posterior to the second decree, but
d) It doesn't seem credible that God would make the second decree without first knowing whether it would save anyone, because He Himself is bound by His own decrees.
e) Another attempted escape might be to argue that the first decree was only aimed at making all men savable, but
f) A similar criticism arises that the second decree still seems counter to the first decree by providing a barrier to the savability of men, and
g) There is a real question about whether there is any Scriptural basis for an intent to make mankind "savable," as distinct from "saved."

Thus, it does not really seem that (1-2) of Dan's reply help resolve the apparent conflict, or - at best - they simply move the conflict someplace else.

As to (3), it seems that "the decree" referenced is supposed to be the first decree. This would seem to begin to take escape (e) discussed above. Additionally, since the first decree does not include any decree for application of the benefit of Christ's death, it actually does not mean "salvation is possible for everyone through Christ's death." In fact, it does not mean that salvation is possible for anyone at all, since it does not include any way for the benefit of Christ's death to be applied to men.

Alternatively, "the decree" in (3) might be aimed at pointing to the second decree. If so, then the same criticism from (f) as well as (d) above would apply. A decree to save those who fit within a formula is inherently discriminatory, with the formula being the discriminator. Unless there is some kind of expectation that everyone would fall within the formula (which apparently, per (3), there was not) then the formula does not mean "salvation is possible for everyone through Christ's death."

Indeed, one could (though why they would, I have no idea) insert between Dan's second decree and the advance knowledge a recognition of human total inability to meet the formula. Then, it becomes clear that a decree that Jesus die for everyone (in the abstracted way Dan posits in his first decree) is not sufficient to make "salvation is possible for everyone through Christ's death."

I'm guessing that Dan's ultimate order would look something like this:

1. Decree to create.
2. Recognition of the fall.
3. Decree that Christ will die.
4. Decree that Christ's death will be applied to those who have faith.
5. Decree that it will be "possible" for anyone to have faith.
6. Recognition of who actually has faith.

Embedded within (5) would be a decree to give all men prevenient grace, or something like that.

There are a number of problems with this expanded order, though.

(a) The idea of creating without having the purpose of the creation mind already seems odd. One pictures the person in Dan's order saying to himself, "So I've got this creation, what should I do with it?"

(b) The idea of the fall being something that is only recognized once there is a decree to create does not seem fully consistent with God's omniscience. Even if this could be escaped by middle knowledge, though ...

(c) The idea of the knowledge of who will believe being recognized somehow separately from the fall does not seem fully consistent either with God's omniscience or middle knowledge.

In short, I'm not sure how Dan's explanation doesn't just make matters worse for the Arminian or Amyraldian.


Love God - Don't Sin - and Don't Make Excuses

I read some rather feeble responses in letters to the editor at PSU today, on the topic of the Bible's testimony against homosexuality. (link)

Let me summarize the flaws in the letters.

1. Misuse of "Love one another."

Apparently the author of the first letter thinks that convicting others of sin is unloving.

But Scripture says:

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

We can show our love for one another by correcting one another's faults. Of course, we must do so in a loving manner, but the command to love one another is qualified this way:

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Jesus called people to repentance, and we can show love by humbly following in his footsteps.

2. Failure to Distinguish Between Moral and Ceremonial Old Testament Law

Oddly, the author of the first letter groups homosexuality (which he apparently recognizes is condemned in the Old Testament) together with "eating pork or shrimp, wearing linen and wool at the same time, commingling crops and premarital sex."

Except for the "premarital sex" item, all those items are ceremonial law restrictions. In contrast, the prohibition on extramarital sex (including both premarital sex generally, and homosexual sex in particular) is a feature of the moral law, summarized in the Decalogue under the heading, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

The ceremonial law has passed away, having been fulfilled in Christ.

3. Argument from Silence / Argument from Failure to Appreciate Christ as Logos

The author of the first letter argues, "Jesus never spoke of homosexuality."

Presumably the person meant that none of Jesus' recorded speeches in the gospels deal with homosexuality. But Scripture notes, first of all, that not everything Jesus said is recorded:

John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

But, Jesus did speak against sexual lust:

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

It would seem odd to imagine someone so presumptuous as to argue that Jesus meant only that heterosexual lust was inappropriate.

4. Argument from Human Weakness

The author of the first letter concludes: "Humans are incapable of being perfect. That goes same for those who are in the Bible -- both teaching and being taught. Those who taught also failed in some parts of their biblical life."

This is mostly true (the perfect teacher, Christ, excepted). It's quite irrelevant to the issue, though. We ought to be careful not to be puffed up with pride because the sin of homosexuality is not alluring to us, because we should be aware of our own failures in other areas. Nevertheless, homosexual desires and behaviors are sinful. Nobody's perfect - true; which proves the high standard of the moral law.

5. Argument from "Some/Many Scholars Say"

The author of the second letter promotes a tenuous theory that the Old Testament prohibition on homosexuality (as well as many of the ceremonial laws) were added around 7 B.C. He claims that "many religious scholars" accept this theory. I would be mildly surprised if the number of such scholars couldn't fit in a phone booth. There are some "scholars" who will write anything in order to get published. If such scholars (who make the 7 B.C. claim) even exist, their scholarship is laughable in the extreme. The ancient origin of the Old Testament is well and abundantly established.

6. Argument from "You believe the wrong parts of the Bible"

The author of the second letter shows his true colors pretty quickly when he says: "I do not have a problem with Christians who preach the major themes of love and the golden rule, but when a person rashly adopts every thought presented in the Bible without any questioning, they will face judgment from me."

The problem is, Scripture as the rule of faith is a central tenet of Christianity. If the Bible says it, then we believe it, and that ends the matter. That doesn't mean that we don't search thoroughly to determine what the Bible says. We do search. But, when we follow what Scripture says, as best we understand it.

That's how we submit ourselves to God's revelation in Scripture. That's how we love God. After all, as Scripture says:

Exodus 20:6 (and Deuteronomy 5:10) And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Deuteronomy 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

Deuteronomy 11:22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;

Deuteronomy 19:9 If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:

Deuteronomy 30:16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Joshua 22:5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Or, most simply of all:

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

May God give us grace to keep his commandments,


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TurretinFan, the Dead, Homeless Atheist

One frequent tired argument that one hears from atheists, is that we monotheists are basically atheists, because we reject all of the gods, except one.

The problem for the atheist is that this is rather like saying that a person is homeless who has only one home, because he lacks all the other homes that there are. It's worse than that, though, because there is no other god besides God, the other "gods" are just mute idols, demons, and figments of imagination.

In a way it's rather like saying that we are dead, because the only thing that differentiates us from being dead is that we are alive.

According to such reasoning, I would be a dead, homeless atheist, though I live, have a place to lay my head, and trust in the true and living God. It's a throwaway argument, but its been thrown enough times that we must be ready to bat it away.


Who is that on the Atonement? With Some Answers to Universalist Objections

(Note the term "Universalist" in the title is being used to refer to those who think died for all men universally, [like the way that B.B. Warfield uses the term] not those who believe that all men will be saved.)

Today, in fact only a few minutes ago, I found this interesting discussion, from which - for the moment - I've excerpted only the name:

When [this man] was charged with teaching, Christ has died for all men and for every individual, he responded, "This assertion was never made by me either in public or private except when it was accompanied by such an explanation as the controversies which are excited on this subject have rendered necessary. "For the phrase here used possesses much ambiguity: Thus it may mean either that 'the price of the death of Christ was given for all and for every one,' or that 'the redemption, which was obtained by means of that price, is applied and communicated to all men and to every one' . . . Of this latter sentiment I entirely disapprove, because God has by a peremptory decree resolved that believers alone should be made partakers of this redemption . . ."

Who is the person speaking this?

Frankly, I don't think this view is far from the quasi-Amyraldian "unlimited/limited" view that is has been espoused by various folks. What is interesting, though, is that the source of this interesting position is not a quasi-Amyraldian, an Amyraldian, or even a so-called "moderate Calvinist." The person speaking this in outright Arminian. In fact, it's Arminius himself.

I would sincerely ask folks who call themselves "moderate Calvinists," to consider whether
they really think that the synod of Dordt agreed with the Remonstrants on this point.

Likewise, I would ask Arminians to consider whether their own position here is tenable.

After all, how is purchasing a redemption for both believers and non-believers consistent with decreeing to save only believers?

This post (link) was provided by Billy Birch, whose posts I've been enjoy much lately, although I frequently disagree with them.

BB raises a few questions, that I think it would be worthwhile answering:

"But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone" (Heb. 2.9). Is "everyone" only the elect?

In general, no but in context, yes.

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. 5.6). Are only the elect ungodly?

In general, no but in context, yes.

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again" (2Cor. 5.14-15). Have not "all" spiritually died? Or have only the "elect" died spiritually? If "all" people everywhere are spiritually dead, then Christ Jesus died for them all.
In general, no but in context, yes.

"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" (1John 2.2). And not only for ours (believers) but also for the "whole" world. Notice that John was not inspired to merely write, "for the world," but instead, "for the whole world." Bend over backwards, if you must, to make this only for the "elect," but do so to your own harm.
The explanation is simple - not just for John and his immediate audience.

What did John the baptizer confess about Jesus? "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 1.29) The sin of the "elect"? or the sin of the "world"? Which was he inspired to proclaim? If the Spirit of God had meant the "elect," He would have inspired him to say so.
The world is an expansive, not extensive, term as used by John the Baptist.

Jesus himself admitted, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6.51). Is "the world" suppose to mean the "elect"? No. One has to accept the presupposition of Limited Atonement in order to believe it.
And same goes for Jesus as for John the Baptist.

Peter wrote, "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves" (2Pet. 2.1). Are false teachers and false prophets among God's chosen? Will false prophets be saved? No. Yet Peter spoke of them as people whom the Lord had purchased. How can this be? It cannot be, in a Calvinistic framework.
Must the buying here be referential to salvation from sins? But even if it must, was Jesus their Lord? If you will grant that he was not, then to insist that the "bought them" must be taken at face value is inconsistent.

There's certainly more that could be said in response to each of those points, more that has already been said, and more points from the original article that could be addressed. The fundamental interpretive error both for BB and the quasi-Amyraldians appears to be a failure to recognize the semantics of "all" and "world" in Scripture, as often expressing an expansive (people from all over the globe) rather than extensive (each and every last person on the face of the earth) connotation.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Missing the Points - Greek Muslim Responds to Dr. White

A Greek Muslim has responded to several comments of Dr. White's regarding Muslim apologists that butcher the Greek language in their apologetic attempts.

I'm afraid this gentleman (and he certainly seems to be a calm, polite man) has missed the point. The point is not that ALL Muslims do not understand Greek. Dr. White's points regarding abuse of the Greek language was directed to two or three Muslim apologists.

It's also worth pointing out that there are important differences between the Greek of the New Testament and Modern Greek. If you listen to the end portion of the challenge, you will hear Greek spoken, Modern Greek. If you listen to Dr. White speaking Greek in his usual presentations, you will typically hear Koine Greek with an Erasmian pronunciation.

I don't think a debate between someone who speaks Koine Greek and someone who speaks Modern Greek (both speaking their respective versions of the language) would be that useful, but it certainly would be interesting. I doubt Dr. White will accept the challenge, but it was nice that it was offerred.

I enjoyed the creative challenge that this young man presents, although obviously I cannot commend his theological position.

(link to challenge)

Unspringing a Loaded Oneness Question

Sometimes one will hear a Oneness Pentacostal ask a question along the lines of:

"When Jesus died on the cross, who died? Was it 'God the Son' or the man Jesus?"

The answer is that Jesus is one person. He died on the cross. He is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is fully God and fully Man. He is not a "hybrid" as mocking Oneness folks are wont to say.

The purpose of the question is rather transparent: it seeks to divide Christ into two persons: "God the Son" and "Jesus the Man." That's the loading that's placed on the question, and the spring that we need to be aware of when we address the question.

It may not be an intentional spring-loading. After all, the Oneness person may actually think of Jesus as a combination of an ordinary man and an impersonal Divine spirit. Thus, the Oneness questioner may himself want to argue that only Jesus the man died. Nevertheless, it is loaded with incorrect presuppositions, and they need to be exposed.

God the Father did not die on the cross.
The Holy Spirit did not die on the cross.
Jesus Christ, who is both the Son of God and the Son of Man did die on the cross, to save His people from their sins.

To ask the loaded question above is about the same as to ask the question, "When Jesus died, who died: the person who raised Lazarus from the dead, the person who gave the man born blind his sight, or the person who healed the lepers?" The answer is that all those descriptions match one person, the person who died. The same is true here. The person who died is both the Son of God and Jesus Christ, the man.


On Freedom In Choices - Response to "Orthodox"

I had written: The fact that men do make choices, and that some of those decisions are free, does not mean that they are free in the sense required by Arminian, Molinist, or Open Theist interpreters.

"Orthodox" responded: If you admit that some decisions are free, you have a lot of work to do to prove a special category of non-free decisions.

I answer:

I think O's comment provides an example of a typical failure to understand free will in its conventional sense: the Calvinistic sense.

What is the will? It is a name we give to the decision-making functionality of a man. The will functions to make choices, decisions, selections, elections, and judgments. We generally call such acts of man, acts of a man's will.

Sometimes those acts are free, sometimes they are not.

We do not consider a choice made under extreme duress to be a "free" choice. It is still a choice, certainly. Nevertheless, the man who hands over a wallet because a gun is pointed at his head is exercising his will in an un-free, constrained way.

You see, when we speak of something being free, we ordinarily speak of freedom from external constraints. Thus, for example, we say that a woman is free to marry when her husband is dead. Occasionally, we also speak of something being free when it is free from dominating internal constraints. Thus, for example, we typically do not view an alcoholic as "free" in this occasional sense, and it is in this sense that Luther was writing in his famous book, "Bondage of the Will." The will of fallen man is not free from the bondage of sin. Instead, man's will is enslaved by sin before God's grace of regeneration is poured forth in a man's heart.

Nevertheless, when we speak of the will's freedom, we normally only refer to the former, external, constraints. In that sense, we say that man's will is usually largely free. Many and perhaps most of man's decisions are made without any or with minimal external coercion or compulsion.

Some choices are not free, but are - instead - coerced. We could provide examples, but perhaps the most obvious is the choice to pay one's taxes. The government normally provides coercion in the force of threat of fine and/or imprisonment to those who fail to pay, which prevents us from choosing freely. Certainly, some people choose to ignore the threat, just as sometimes people refuse to hand over their wallet at gunpoint. Nevertheless, we do not view such externally compelled choices to be "free."

We object to the philosophical importation by Molinists, Arminians, Open Theists, and others of a non-conventional definition of "free will," as an "ability to do otherwise." This odd ability, which is - by definition - never ever used, is made up from thin air. It is itself the conclusion and the premise of many anti-Calvinistic arguments. Oh well. There is no need to delve at great length into that subject at present.

Hopefully, the above presentation will help to set "Orthodox" and others straight on the will and its various kinds and senses of freedom.

May God bless our wills with grace to do His will,


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Matthew Lankford - Great Start!

Matthew Lankford has recently started a blog, and he's off to a great start, with an interesting post that provides a collection of articles on the Second Commandment, namely, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

This is a great start to what should be an interesting blog. I hope he sticks with it. Many blogs are abandoned after only a few posts.