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September 30, 2005

Amateur Archaeologist Says He Has Found Homer's Ithaca, Island Home of Odysseus
BBC: Bird Flu Pandemic Could Kill 150 Million, Says UN Health Official
LAWSUIT CHALLENGES GOOGLE PLAN to Scan Contents of Libraries: "Making a profit from ill-gotten material"
U.S. Must Stop Iran's Nuke Programs, Even If Force Required: Israeli Lawmakers
"JESUS" IN SPEECH AT DARTMOUTH, and "People Will Go Berserk"?
. . . The Speech That Berserked Ivy Overreactionaries . . . Transcript . . . 
Judith Miller Out of Jail, Will Testify About White House Leak of Covert CIA Officer's Name
DISCOVERY INSTITUTE: Darwinists Attack Academic Freedom, Censor Scientific Thought

September 29, 2005

Intelligent Design: Supporters Blast Evolutionists for Trying to Suppress Debate
Schwarzenegger Vetoes Same-Sex Marriage Bill: "I do not believe the legislature can reverse an initiative approved by the people of California"
NATIONAL REVIEW: "The DeLay Prosecutor Has Let a Film Crew Follow Him Through the Whole Case" ... Given "Extraordinary Access" to Make "Motion Picture"
Car Bomb Attacks Kill at Least  60 in Iraq, Sunnis Have Vowed to Wreck October Vote on Constitution
Roberts Takes Oath of Office, Sworn in as 17th Chief Justice of United States Supreme Court. . . Transcript of Roberts' Remarks. . . Transcript of President's Remarks
AP: Senate Confirms Roberts as USSC Chief Justice, 78-22, to Be Sworn in Later Today
CAL THOMAS: Network Hurricane Coverage Itself Was a Gulf Coast Disaster Zone
AL-QAEDA SEEKS WMD for Middle East, Top Commander Tells Congress
Save Venice: $5.2 Billion for Flood Barriers to Resist High Tides, Some Enviros Object
LONDON: Tate Museum Drops Religious Art From Exhibition, Fears Muslim Backlash
. . . BBC: Tate "Misunderstood," Says Artist of Pulled Work . . . See Image
MADRID: Imam, Author of Book on Wife-Beating Without Leaving "Scars or Bruises," Ordered by Judge to Study Spanish Constitution

September 28, 2005

Wm. F. Buckley: Mention of Jesus During Speech Enrages Hardline Secularists at Dartmouth
Study Witchcraft, Get Tax Break
Johnny Cash Musical "Ring of Fire" Bound for Broadway, Performances Begin February
Time to Bury Lenin, Not Honor Him -- Senior Putin Aide
TOM DELAY INDICTED: Grand Jury Charges Campaign Finance Scheme, House Majority Leader Temporarily Relinquishes Position
... DeLay Defiant: "I am innocent" ... Says Accuser Is "unabashed partisan zealot" and "fanatic"
IRAQ: First Female Suicide Bomber Kills at Least Six . . . Al Qaeda: "A Blessed Sister"
BLUSHING MEDIA: A Second Look at Katrina

September 27, 2005

SEN. OPRAH FEINSTEIN on Opposing Roberts as Chief Justice: He's Too Judicious
Don Adams, 86 Dies at 82: Actor, Comedian, "Get Smart" Star, Drill Instructor, Veteran of Guadalcanal
UPDATE: Sen. Frist Denies Insider Information on Stock Sale, Promises Cooperation With Investigators
AP: Katrina Violence in New Orleans Overstated -- "Police are reexamining the reports and finding that many of them have little or no basis in fact"
Celebrated Museum a Repository of Looted Masterpieces? . . .  Italy Wants 42 Objects Returned
NEW ORLEANS Police Chief: 249 Officers AWOL
Atlanta Hostage Gave Crystal Meth to Courthouse Killer . . . Bombarded by Book, Movie Offers
Pro-Homosexual Bishop in D.C. Rips Nigerian Cleric
Al Qaeda's No. 2 in Iraq Killed
REUTERS: Sheehan Arrested, as Planned

September 26, 2005

Wiesenthal: "Hunted Nazis Like the Nazis Hunted Jews" (Wiesenthal.com)
DAVID LIMBAUGH: "Stuck on Stupid" Applies to Both Democrats and GOP
WTIMES: Iraq Insurgency "will stay somewhat robust for months or years to come"
Intelligent Design Goes to Court
Pope Meets Leading Theological Critic, Discusses Ethics, Science
Aussie Blogger Surprized: Enthusiastic Response to Good News From Iraq . . . About Which Big Media AWOL
NATIONAL HURRICANE CHIEF Ices Global Warming: Rough Season Part of "Normal Cycle" . . . "I think this activity we're in can be explained without invoking global warming" 
MADRID: Suspected Al Qaeda Leader Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison, Found Guilty of Conspiring in 9/11

September 24, 2005

Harvard Law Lifts Ban Against Military Recruiters on Campus
Cherokee Indians to Display 10 Commandments in Public Buildings ... ACLU Impotent
French Nix March of the Penguins as 2006 Oscar Hopeful
. . . E! Online: Le Snub
SCHOOL DISTRICT CANCELS Pro-Homosexual Play, Explicit Project Was to Be Staged for Children Before Christmas ... Playwright "Shocked"
Sex Toys in Wal-Mart, Thanks to Trojan
Iraq-War Protestors Rally in Washington, D.C., Want Troops Withdrawn Now, Top Democrats Not Speaking
New Allegations: More Instances of U.S. Soldiers Torturing Iraqi Prisoners
HORRORS! -- "Christians can be intelligent . . . Unbelievers can grow spiritually" -- Director, The Exorcism of Emily Rose
ABC: CAT 3 HURRICANE RITA Lashes Texas-Louisiana Line Early Saturday, 20-ft. Storm Surge
. . . NASA Satellite Image: Rita Comes Ashore
. . . New Orleans: Rita's Rains Threaten Flood, Strain Levees
AP on Sen. Frist Stocks: Documents Show Senator Received Updates on Stock Transactions in Blind Trust . . . "two weeks before he publicly denied any knowledge. . ."

September 23, 2005

TRANSCRIPT: O'Reilly v. Donahue on Terror, Iraq, Sheehan
Hollywood Courts Churches to Market Films . . . Disney Looks to Christians to Boost The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
E! ONLINE: Kate Moss' Drug Fiasco Worsens, London Police Investigate Daily Mirror Photos Seeming to Show Supermodel Snorting Coke
Explosives-Sniffing Robots Could Join Dogs for Military Duty Along South Korean Side of DMZ
IRAQ: Country's Top Shiite Cleric Supports New Constitution
British Police Arrest Man at Manchester Airport . . . Suspect Had Suspicious Package Near Aircraft
HIRED BY FAITH: U.S. House Allows Head Start Religious Groups to Hire Based on Religion . . . Democrats Charge Discrimination
Christian School Expels Girl Because Mother Is Homosexual Living With Partner, Associated Press Calls Both Mom and Partner "Parents"
Schwarzenegger on Abortion: If someone takes "my daughter to a hospital for an abortion" ... and does "not tell me" ... "I would kill him"

September 22, 2005

Roberts Wins Judiciary Committee Approval 13-5, Senate Confirmation Expected Next Week
Next High Court Nominee: "Should Be Every Bit as Conservative as Ruth Bader Ginsburg . . . Was Liberal"
NEW CRITERION: Frida Kahlo Had Artistic Talent ... Yet Her Vogue May Have Something to Do With Her Anti-Americanism, Stalinism, Bi-Sexuality...
Bird Flu Outbreak Called Epidemic -- Indonesia
King of Jordan Rejects Radical Islam, Seeks Reconciliaton With Jews
OS GUINNESS on Confronting Evil in the Age of Auschwitz
   On June 4, 1955, Francis and Edith Schaeffer made the decision to start L’Abri Fellowship in Huemoz, Switzerland.  This article was posted elsewhere in June of this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that founding decision, and is now published here with minor changes. "Francis Schaeffer: A Student's Appreciation of a Distinct Voice" also therefore appears at Sue Bob’s Diary, Challies.com, and the website of the MacLaurin Institute.  I thank all concerned for their willingness to make this article available in June.    The Schaeffers have correctly emphasized that Christianity is a total worldview based on truth that is rationally accessible and meant to be applied with authenticity to the whole person across every field of human achievement and creativity.  Many people have many reasons to be thankful for what they were able to see, hear, think about, and test over time at L’Abri, or perhaps after L’Abri.  I am one of these, for L'Abri is where I found, among other things, something for which I was not searching: a 20-year-old blonde named Nancy. 
Francis Schaeffer: A Student's Appreciation of a Distinct Approach
By Rick PearceyIt happened one summer day in the early ‘70s on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta.  That’s when I first heard about an individual unlike any Christian sort I had ever met, and about an approach to people and ideas that was unlike any I had ever known.  Strange as it may seem, Francis Schaeffer and his distinctive approach would begin to have an impact on this college student’s life before I knew anything about him or his work.  How can this be?  For an answer, we begin where Francis and Edith Schaeffer began, when L’Abri Fellowship entered the world in 1955 hidden from view in the village of Huemoz, Switzerland, when the couple set out several principles to guide their new work.  As we shall see, each of the principles emphasized prayer as a way to achieve their overarching purpose of “[showing] forth by demonstration, in our life and work, the existence of God.”  After ten years as a pastor in America, and then a few years in Europe as a missionary, Schaeffer was ready to act on the conviction that a real God who is personal would be able to act and communicate in space and time, in the present moment of history, and that living and working on the basis of prayer was key to demonstrating the existence of such a God in a “hard, hard world” that could sniff out phonies a mile away.  For Schaeffer, “belief” that such a God exists was not a matter of subjective “faith,” but rather a reasoned conclusion based on evidence.  As a teenager, and then again later as an adult, Schaeffer had worked through agnosticism and concluded that the Judeo-Christian worldview is objectively true—that is, that the system of thought and life set forth in the Old and New Testaments alone answers the basic philosophic questions of life in a way that is rationally consistent, historically verifiable, and existentially livable.  In addition to taking God seriously, Schaeffer also took students and other searching people seriously as individuals whose questions should not be relegated to “smokescreen” status, as a front for spiritual rebellion, for example, but rather respected as the searchings of people who need answers to basic questions.  This is why he tried to give “an honest answer to honest questions” to those who wondered whether God exists, truth is real, or life has any meaning.  But, however important (and Biblical) is this emphasis on having solid intellectual grounds for affirming the existence of God, Schaeffer felt something else was needed -- namely, “the demonstration [italics added] that the Personal-Infinite God is really there in our generation,” as he wrote in the foreword of Edith’s book, L’Abri, which was published in 1969.  Schaeffer understood that talk, indeed, “is cheap,” and that words written in books also can be “cheap” if they are just “God-talk” that give readers a momentary buzz that disappears soon after the book is put down.  He realized that people need to see an exhibition that God actually exists, and that’s why he felt led to live a life, and begin a ministry, based on principles that emphasized verifiably answerable prayer, so that atheists, agnostics, and doubting Christians (sometimes hobbled by other Christians), could observe living evidence of God at work in the modern world.  Schaeffer’s vision was that when “people come to L’Abri they are faced with these two aspects simultaneously” -- honest answers to honest questions and the practical demonstration of the existence of God -- “as the two sides of a single coin.”  Madison Avenue vs. God
The first of L’Abri’s founding principles was to “make our financial and material needs known to God alone, in prayer, rather than sending out pleas for money.”  From his own experience, Schaeffer knew that some in leadership positions at huge Christian organizations speak as if they believe it is God who is at work in providing financing, but in reality, if you go behind the scenes, one may learn that, despite the God-talk, it isn’t so much God at work, but rather what Schaeffer regarded as the “arm of the flesh”—that is, a “Madison Avenue” sales mentality that relies on marketers, fundraisers, PR people, researchers, and all the rest, to come up with clever ways to “sell” Jesus or the ministry, its necessity, effectiveness, influence, and so on, to the public.    For Schaeffer, Christianity is worthless if it isn’t true.  But if it is true, its principles have to be practiced in a way that is observable to any who care to take a look, whether they be French existentialist, German agnostic, Cambridge student or London dockworker.  PR is cheap.  It is one thing to affirm, “We believe in prayer,” for example, and yet have a fundraising apparatus that spits out hundreds of thousands of impersonal form letters, sometimes of questionable veracity, written by marketers and signed by a machine that inscribes the name of a well-known persona.  It is quite another thing, as Schaeffer knew from personal experience, to actually live and operate a ministry on the basis of the principle that “we believe that He can put into the minds of the people of His choice the share they should have in the work.”  Witnessing specific answers to specific prayers at L’Abri helped many skeptics “to see” that a personal God actually exists and that Christianity may have more going for it than they had thought.    Schaeffer was once talking with a group at L’Abri, and he said that people sometimes ask him about the practicality of L’Abri’s bringing financial requests to the Lord as opposed to making such requests known publicly.  “What do you do if the money doesn’t come in?” would be the question.  Schaeffer gave perhaps the only possible honest answer—if he authentically believed what he said about a God who is really there and who can act into history today in response to human communication: “Well, I guess we’ll be smaller.”  In the real world of some big-time Christian ministries, fundraising too often makes the world go round, and a financial shortfall might well result not in an honest reexamination of one’s methods and a renewed questioning regarding where God may be leading, but rather in firing staff and re-oiling the money machine.  Schaeffer regarded such an approach not just as un-Biblical, but also as profoundly ugly and destructive, regardless of how much outward “success” or “influence for Christ” an organization or person might appear to achieve in this life.  People of God’s Choice
L’Abri’s second founding principle was that they would “pray that God will bring the people of His choice to us, and keep all others away.”  Such a prayer may seem an odd way to build a ministry or conduct “outreach,” but Schaeffer understood that, if God is real and can speak and act in the modern world, it follows that such a God ought to be able to lead people who need help to a hidden-away place such as L’Abri.  “There are no advertising leaflets,” Edith explained in L’Abri, “and this book is the first to be written about the work.”  Schaeffer’s mindset is decisive here.  He wasn’t focused on trying to build a powerbase to shape politics, create a constituency, lead a huge organization, rehabilitate a reputation, craft an image, or leave behind a positive legacy.  Rather, he simply made himself available to God to be helpful to people and decided to let the results take care of themselves.  Edith’s book describes some of the unusual ways in which people heard about the Schaeffers, or just happened upon a chalet door at L’Abri to find a new world of concern for truth and for the individual.  A personal story may help illustrate this.  To build on what I said earlier, in the summer of 1971, I was college student living with a group of people in Atlanta in a fraternity house on the campus of Georgia Tech.  Many of us, myself included, were enrolled elsewhere and had traveled to Atlanta to participate in a summer program with an organization called the Navigators.  During one weekend, I was sitting with others in the large living room of the house, where we had gathered to hear a talk about a person I’d never heard of.  If you met this person on the street, said the speaker, and asked him how he was doing, he might well reply, “What do you mean?”  Members of the audience chuckled, and I remember thinking that that could be the start of an intriguing interchange.  Little else about the talk stands out in my mind.  But something happened during the presentation that has stayed with me ever since.  At some point during the presentation, a muscle on the back of my neck began to tighten up, a kind of pinching sensation.  It felt like one of those occasions when your grandmother grabs you with her thumb and index finger and pinches the back of your arm while you’re doing something you ought not be doing.  Except that in this case there was no pain in the “pinch” I felt in the back of my neck, on the left side.  It wasn’t unpleasant in any way.  But it did get my attention.  “Strange,” I thought.  In fact, I’d never had a sensation like it before—nor since.  The sensation stayed with me, so much so that I decided to take note of the surroundings, in case there was something else happening that perhaps I needed to be aware of.  I looked around the room and considered the setting, the speaker, the other people sitting in chairs.  At first, nothing seemed to stand out.  Then it occurred to me.  There was something new—the unusual individual the speaker was talking about.  I made a mental note to keep in mind the name of a person about whom I knew next to nothing: Francis Schaeffer.  At the time, I had no idea that I might be on the receiving end of the Schaeffers’ prayer that God would bring the people of His choice to L’Abri.  By August the next year, I was hitchhiking through Luxembourg and Germany on my way to Switzerland.  There are many such stories that could be recounted, each with its own peculiarities, which help demonstrate to many searching people that God exists and acts into history today.  Your Planning Is Too Small
A third principle that helped set Schaeffer apart from his contemporaries, whether Christian or otherwise, was his attitude toward planning.  He did not reject planning per se, but he did specifically reject the practice of allowing human planning to replace the existential leadership of the Lord.  For this reason, the third founding principle of L’Abri was that “we pray that God will plan the work, and unfold His plan to us (guide us, lead us) day by day, rather than planning the future in some clever or efficient way in committee meetings.”  Schaeffer reasoned that the Infinite-Personal God could be far more effective than any human committee or charismatic leader with a plan, even if such leadership had vast financial resources, or other avenues of power, at its disposal.  The history of L’Abri appears to bear this out, as the Schaeffers worked in principled obscurity with individuals one by one in simply trying to address the intellectual and personal concerns of those who crossed their doorstep.  L’Abri Fellowship had no master plan, a shoestring budget, and no formula for becoming a ministry of international reach and reputation.  If the Lord so led, Schaeffer was quite content to work hidden away on the side of a mountain.  There was no plan to write books, build a chapel, create a study center, begin a cassette program, film documentaries, hold conferences, or expand into other countries—all of which eventually happened.  In fact, from the point of view of secularized marketing or some “steamroller” Christian organizations (so-called in Schaeffer’s book of letters), Schaeffer did it all wrong.  But his own life struggles had brought him to a place of understanding that the practice of being alive to God moment by moment is far more crucial to authentic success in ministry, to real victory in the seen and unseen world, than any plan or program devised by the well-heeled and powerful ever could be. The thousands of diverse individuals, believer and unbeliever alike, who found their way to L’Abri and a more humane Christianity would likely agree.  No Little Workers
I recall that Schaeffer on occasion expressed his gratitude that, of all the people who had come to work on staff at L’Abri, not one had left Huemoz on bad terms.  As is known by many who have worked with religious organizations and celebrities, and by several books on spiritual abuse, the record of Christians in this regard could be better.  Schaeffer was concerned about the trail of hurt people left in the wake of many of sterling public repute whose stated aim is to win the world for Christ, let us say, but whose methods of ministry are in sharp contrast to Christ.  It was not at all uncommon to hear a struggling Christian (whether young or old) say that he had come to L’Abri as his “last hope,” having been nearly flattened by some steamroller “hard-charging” Christian or group on a mission from God and don’t you dare get in the way.  Schaeffer’s demonstration of substantial healing in the area of helping hurting people may have something to do with L’Abri’s fourth founding principle -- namely, that “we pray that God will send the workers of His choice to us, rather than pleading for workers in the usual channels.”  Again, the point is not that Schaeffer rejected normal employment practices per se, but rather that he felt led to rely on prayer in this area, at his moment of history, so that the existence of God could be demonstrated to Christian and non-Christian alike in a very practical and observable way.  And, naturally, if Schaeffer understood that L’Abri workers were sent by the Lord, it followed that they had to be respected for who they are in their own right, and not be used up as fodder for a leader’s ego or an organization’s expansion.  Schaeffer aimed to be faithful to God and simply did not concern himself with creating a huge organization to be the “definitive voice” on Christian worldview, for example, or with striving for greater influence, in the greater service of the Lord (which Schaeffer saw as a pernicious temptation and rationalization).  Again, quite practically, and refreshingly, if God didn’t send the workers, well, then L’Abri would just have to be smaller—which is not quite the crisis it could be for someone whose ego isn’t based on size or influence.  Schaeffer wasn’t out to be “the best” at anything, or “branded” as anything, but just to be the best he could be.  He could afford to respect people, including fellow L’Abri workers, and refuse to debase them by reducing them to potential donors, or by reducing their struggles to anecdotal highlights for fundraising letters.  This authenticity regarding people really set Schaeffer apart.  In contrast to some inside and outside the church, he was a giver and not a taker.  He was not looking for “alter egos” or for people whose energy and talents he could sap and then claim their work as his, whether “for the ministry” or “because the message will reach more people,” or for some other unfortunate instance in which the end is used to justify the means.  For Schaeffer, there were “no little people,” a phrase taken from the title of one of his most important sermons.  And that’s one of the reasons so many different kinds of people from around the world, after spending some time at L’Abri, where they could observe Schaeffer’s thinking and living in action, found his distinctive approach such a life-affirming alternative to much of the status quo. Francis Schaeffer was different.  But, as he himself no doubt understood, we don’t need more cookie-cutter Francis Schaeffers.  Some may covet the mantle of Francis Schaeffer, but the secret is: There isn’t any such mantle.  Rather, we need more individuals willing to embrace truth and then flesh out that truth with a measure of consistency across the whole of their lives, including the nuts and bolts of our methods of ministry.  When a person has said yes to demonstrating the existence of God in one’s life and work, then what happens on the side of a Swiss mountain, or in a fraternity house on a college campus, though largely unnoticed, may change everything.  ______________
Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.  

  There is a delicious irony about the Supreme Court's taking up a case that involves one of the most contentious legal issues of our time: whether judges should interpret the law or make new law. The irony, of course, is that the high court itself has often engaged in legislating from the bench--most notably, for moral conservatives, in Roe v. Wade. The court now has the opportunity, should it accept it, to censure the pernicious philosophy it has so often embraced.In George W. Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board, et al., the court has been asked to decide whether the Florida Supreme Court violated the Constitution by overriding the state's election statute in order to give extra time to counties engaged in manual recounts. At issue is Article II, Section I, of the U.S. Constitution, which says that members of the Electoral College shall be chosen by each state "in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct."By effectively nullifying the state election law, the Florida judges overrode the express will of the legislature. Conservative commentators were outraged. "The point is not just that the judges made the wrong decision," explained Thomas Sowell. "It was not their decision to make." The Court "has effectively legislated from the bench," argued Cal Thomas. In the Weekly Standard, William Kristol and Jeffrey Bell denounced the Court's "willful encroachment on the roles of both the legislative and executive branches," and called for an end to "judicial supremacy."Longstanding Trend of Judicial UsurpationAnd yet merely repeating stock phrases, however true they are, will not reverse the powerful and longstanding trend of judicial usurpation. The idea that the role of judges is to make law has been incubating in American legal philosophy for a good two centuries, and rooting it out will require serious grappling with this intellectual history.In his magisterial two-volume set, The Transformation of American Law, Morton J. Horwitz makes clear that the idea that judges should not just apply the law but should shape social policy was already widely accepted at the dawn of the 19th Century.  Until then, Horwitz explains, "the common law was conceived of as a body of essentially fixed doctrine to be applied in order to achieve a fair result between private litigants in individual cases," not to change social policy. Law was thought to be based on nature or reason or divine law, and often all three: In 1728, Daniel Dulany wrote that "the Common Law, takes in the Law of Nature, the Law of Reason and the revealed Law of God; which are equally binding, at All Times, in All Places, and to All Persons." The concept of obligation was thought to derive from the inherent rightness or justice of the law, and the role of judges was not to make law but only to discover and apply pre-existing rules.By 1800, however, these classic concepts of law had been largely abandoned. To accord with a political system of popular sovereignty, law was redefined as based on will of the people. Popular consent was extended from the political sphere to the legal sphere. Yet the idea that law is an instrument of will was a two-edged sword, for it also meant that law could be shaped by the will of the judge intent on molding legal doctrine according to public policy goals."Judges began to conceive of themselves as legislators," Horwitz writes. They "came to think of the common law as equally responsible with legislation for governing society and promoting socially desirable conduct." They began to "formulate legal doctrine with the self-conscious goal of bringing about social change."Accepting the task of directing social and economic development did not always mean judges pressed for radical innovation; sometimes it meant they practiced a conservative adherence to the past and precedent. Yet the important principle is that even conservative decisions were not based on reverence for any inherent justice in customary law but on purely pragmatic considerations: It was pragmatically prudent to maintain a certain level of predictability in the law so that people can plan more rationally. As Horwitz puts it, adherence to precedent was necessary "only to the extent that it allowed private parties to calculate in advance on the consequences of particular courses of action."This approach to the law received its most influential philosophical justification in the writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., an important founder of a school of thought known as legal pragmatism. Legal pragmatism traces its origins to the early decades of the 20th Century when America was wrestling with the implications of Darwin's theory of evolution. Holmes was one of a group of scholars whose goal was to work out the implications of Darwinism for an overarching philosophy of life, which came to be called pragmatism.Pragmatism is the only "home grown" American philosophy, and it flowered during the golden age in American philosophy, involving such luminaries as John Dewey, Charles Peirce and William James. All were very much involved with the debates over Darwin, and it is no exaggeration to say pragmatism can be defined as an attempt to work out what Darwinism means for the mind--and hence for the human sciences. In a 1909 essay titled "The Influence of Darwinism on Philosophy," Dewey said Darwin "introduced a new mode of thinking that in the end was bound to transform the logic of knowledge, and hence the treatment of morals, politics, and religion."Holmes drew out the implications of philosophical pragmatism for the law. Like Dewey, he was greatly influenced by Darwin's theory of evolution; in a letter, Holmes once said he could not remember as a student actually reading Darwin's Origin of Species, but its ideas were very much "in the air." He was later to draw parallels between biological evolution and the evolution of legal concepts, applying Darwinian concepts to the law such as a "struggle for life among competing ideas" and "the ultimate victory and survival of the strongest." In a classic treatment of the subject titled Evolution and the Founders of Pragmatism, Philip Wiener writes: "In Darwinian fashion, [the pragmatists] interpreted the law as a human instrument for adjusting conflicting desires in the struggle for existence among men."It is against this backdrop that one must understand Holmes's famous aphorism that "the life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience." What did Holmes have against logic? The answer is that "logic" was shorthand for legal formalism, with its ideal of reaching judgments by deduction from a system of precise, abstract general principles, on the model of Euclidean geometry. Such legal formalism had become an increasingly mechanical process of finding precedents and applying them, whether or not the result made any sense under the rapidly changing conditions of modern industrialization. Against formalism, Holmes argued that laws emerge by an evolutionary process through a nation's history: "The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics."Yet, if the origin of law is evolving historical custom, for Holmes the justification of law must be in terms of its practical consequences. Indeed, the whole purpose of historical research was to liberate us from the notion that there is any finality or universality to the law--to stress its contingent and variable character--in order open the way for social transformation. In Holmes's words, "History sets us free and enables us to make up our minds dispassionately" whether the old legal rules still serve any purpose.

Law Only a Product of Cultural Evolution

And the way to determine whether they serve any purpose is through "considerations of social advantage," determined by the empirical studies conducted by economists and social scientists. For Holmes the law should be established "upon accurately measured social desires instead of tradition." In his highly influential 1897 essay "The Path of the Law," Holmes even reduced law to a summary of the social and economic policies shown scientifically to work best. As he put it, "The man of the future is the man of statistics and the master of economics." Law was redefined as a tool for identifying and manipulating factors aimed at creating social harmony and progress.In short, law was little more than a tool for social engineering, using the coercive power of the state to enforce the policies deemed by bureaucrats to be most desirable. To quote Holmes again, the justification for a law is not that it is consistent with universal principles but "that it helps bring out a social end which we desire."Holmes does concede (in vague terms) that law is related "in a certain sense" to morality, yet it is clear that the morality he is most concerned about does not reflect a transcendent moral standard but only the feelings and needs of a particular culture: "The first requirement of a sound body of law is, that it should correspond with the actual feelings and demands of the community, whether right or wrong." Holmes views morality from the perspective of an anthropologist who is interested in how a culture's beliefs develop and are expressed, not in whether those beliefs are objectively true or valid: "The law is the witness and external deposit of our moral life. Its history is the history of the moral development of the race." The language clearly implies the perspective of cultural relativism.In some passages, Holmes seems to want to sever law from even this relativist morality. In the "Path of the Law," he says that in order to understand law in itself, we must consider it from the viewpoint of a "bad man." Whereas most of us connect law with moral ideals such as justice and fairness, a "bad man" who cares nothing for morality is interested only in what will happen to him if he violates the law: "If you want to know the law and nothing else, you must look at it as a bad man, who cares only for the material consequences which such knowledge enables him to predict. . . . A man who cares nothing for an ethical rule which is believed and practiced by his neighbors is likely nevertheless to care a good deal to avoid being made to pay money, and will want to keep out of jail if he can."In short, for Holmes law is not based on any eternal or divine moral law; it is strictly a product of cultural evolution, and it functions as an instrument of social policy.Both legal and philosophical pragmatism declined somewhat around the middle of the century, only to come charging back in the 1960s in the neopragmatism of Richard Rorty, the well-known postmodernist and most influential philosopher in America today. The revival of pragmatism was followed in the 1970s by critical legal studies, and in the 1980s by a school called legal neopragmatism.The neopragmatist Richard Posner is the most frequently cited legal scholar alive today, and is considered the founder of the "law and economics" movement. His application of economic reasoning to moral issues has often yielded startling results. In a notorious 1978 article in the Journal of Legal Studies, he suggested making it legal for parents to buy and sell unwanted babies on the free market in lieu of government-regulated adoption.In the third edition of Economic Analysis of Law, he added new material on rape that substitutes economic for moral reasoning: "Allowing rape would be the equivalent of communalizing property rights in women. . . . Allowing rape would lead to heavy expenditures on protecting women, as well as expenditures on overcoming those protections. The expenditures would be largely offsetting, and to that extent socially wasted."In Sex and Reason, he described prostitution as a "substitute for marriage": The difference between them is "not fundamental. In . . . marriage, the participants can compensate each other for services performed by performing reciprocal services, so they need not bother with pricing each service." Prostitution is simply a case of those same services being traded for ready money.

Posner Separates Morality From Law

Perhaps Posner's most controversial argument, however, is that moral reasoning is irrelevant to law. In October 1997, he delivered the prestigious Oliver Wendell Holmes lectures at Harvard University (reprinted in the Harvard Law Review), using the occasion to launch a blistering attack on moral theory and moral theorists. He called moral philosophers "textmongers" whose own "moral values are those of their professional set."The notion that law is "suffused with moral theory" is mistaken, Posner said, an error caused in part by "the law's frequent borrowing of moral terminology, of such terms as 'fair' and 'unjust' and 'inequitable.' " He harkened back to Holmes, who "warned long ago of the pitfalls of misunderstanding law by taking its moral vocabulary too seriously."Moral reasoning does not persuade anyone anyway, Posner charged. Nor is it how we acquire morality in the first place. We acquire our moral views "mostly in childhood, when moral instruction that appeals to reason takes a back seat to parental example, experience, and religion." Philosophical arguments are "only window dressing." (Posner offers an example from personal experience: "I dislike abortion more since my grandchildren were born," he confides; but "this change in 'moral' feeling has nothing to do with argument.")"The only warrant for believing that there is a moral law that is 'out there' in the very strong sense claimed by a Plato or an Aquinas," Posner says, "is a certain type of religious faith, the faith in a Supreme Lawgiver and in a spiritual reality as real as a material reality." But this position Posner excludes by definition, without any argument, from academic discourse: "religious arguments are not a part of academic moralism." In a recent essay, he writes that a pragmatist judge facing a new situation for which there is no clear legal precedent "does not look to God or other transcendental sources of moral principle." For Posner, the only sound basis for a legal rule is social advantage; instead of attending to moral theory, he says, judges, lawyers, and law professors must attend to economics, sociology, evolutionary biology (sociobiology), and psychology, balancing benefits against costs.It is no surprise to learn that Posner terms his position "pragmatic moral skepticism," nor that his hero is Holmes, whom he has called "the American Nietzsche." Thus the influence of Holmes's legal pragmatism lives on, with its instrumentalist view of the law as a tool of social policy.The chief theoretical failing of pragmatism is that its only measure for evaluating law is whether it "works"--whether it achieves desired social goals: It offers no transcendent principles by which to say whether those goals themselves are good or bad. Indeed, Posner defines the heart of legal pragmatism as "a rejection of a concept of law as grounded in permanent principles . . . and a determination to use law as an instrument for social ends." Yet how do we know whether particular social ends are morally right or wrong?There is an old joke among philosophers that the problem with pragmatism is that it doesn't work. As law professor Phillip Johnson puts it, "A philosophy that deals only with means and has nothing to say about ultimate ends is inadequate. Who wants to rely upon people who think that the only truth is that we should employ the most effective means to get whatever it is we happen to want?" Legal pragmatism frees judges to rule according their own private sense of what will achieve the most desirable social ends.Worse, since pragmatism treats law as an instrument for getting whatever we want, it offers no protection against the powerful using it to achieve whatever they want. In a personal letter, Holmes once wrote these chilling words: "[W]hen it comes to the development of a corpus juris the ultimate question is what do the dominant forces of the community want and do they want it hard enough to disregard whatever inhibitions may stand in the way."It's not surprising, perhaps, that Holmes once defined truth as "the majority vote of the nation that can lick all the others." A pragmatic rule based on "social advantage" or "a social end which we desire" (Holmes's favored phrases) ends up in practice as the rule that the most powerful come out on top.The development of American legal philosophy underscores the crucial role played by the Darwinian view of origins in every area of thought. Darwinism is not only a biological theory; it is also the basis for a comprehensive worldview--implying a new philosophy of mind, knowledge, morality and law. In modern society, science is given authority to tell us "what really is," with the result that philosophy and the humanities adapt to its vision of reality. Thus a direct line connects Darwinism to both the postmodernism of Richard Rorty and the pragmatic moral skepticism of Richard Posner. In these philosophies, the only objective and absolute truth is that there are no objective and absolute truths. In essence, the death of God substitutes for the existence of God, in the sense that it functions as the one fundamental truth that cannot be doubted.

Effective Critique Asks Basic Questions

Thus if conservatives want to make a thorough-going critique of what Kristol and Bell denounce as "judicial supremacy," we must begin with Darwinism as a scientific theory. Philosophical and moral critiques of pragmatism have been offered by several philosophers, from Bertrand Russell to Ronald Dworkin. But such critiques will remain ineffective if Darwin described what is in fact the case in nature: If natural forces alone produced the human mind, for example, then we must accept the naturalistic and reductionist conclusion that the mind is merely a tool adapted for survival--along with the relativistic and skeptical implications this has for morality and law. Thus we need to be prepared to take the intellectual battle into science itself. The controversy over Darwin versus design is not a peripheral issue but lies at the heart of the cultural crisis of our day.The lesson to be drawn is that the legal controversy over judicial supremacy has deep intellectual roots, and that in order to change the prevailing legal philosophy, we need to dig in for the long haul. The influential thinker and cultural analyst Francis Schaeffer used to urge Christian moral conservatives to stop reacting to single issues and events, and to grasp the large, underlying ideas that give rise to those events. The egregious case of judicial usurpation in Florida is a wake-up call to conservatives, and we ought to use it to mount a serious and sustained challenge to the legal pragmatism that reigns in American law schools. That legal philosophy has reduced law to an instrument of social policy and turned judges into legislators.At issue is the validity and viability of the rule of law itself. For if the courts make law, then why do we need legislative bodies? The courts would become a law unto themselves, which is precisely the monopoly of power that the separation of powers was designed to prevent. Restoring the separate functions of each branch of government is the surest institutional protection of American liberty. Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth, is editor at large of The Pearcey Report and the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute.  This article first appeared in Human Events.  Copyright © Nancy Pearcey.  
  Challenge to Secular Stereotype Profoundly Affects Politics and Culture          Christianity Is a Science-Starter, Not a Science-StopperBy Nancy Pearcey   To everyone's surprise, the 2004 presidential election became in part a referendum on science and religion.  At the Democratic National Convention, Ron Reagan, son of the former president, labeled opposition to embryonic stem cell research an "article of faith" and stated that it did not belong in the realm of public policy, which is based on science.  During the presidential debates, John Kerry told audiences that while he "respected" voters' moral concerns about abortion and embryonic stem cells, he could not impose that "article of faith" through political means.[1] 
After the election, the dichotomy between religion and science was stressed even more heavily in the stunned reaction in Blue States.  Liberal commentators like Maureen Dowd warned darkly that moral conservatives would replace "science with religion, facts with faith."  A Kerry supporter complained that Bush voters "are faith-based, rather than reality-based.”  The cover of Stanford Medicine (Fall 2004) featured a man holding up a Bible on one side of a jagged crevice, facing off against a lab-coated scientist holding up a test tube.[2]  An extensive analysis of this commonly held dichotomy is offered in my latest book Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Crossway).
The default position for many Americans in the Blue States seems to be that Christianity is a "science stopper"--that religion implies a world of perpetual miracle, closing off the search for natural causes.[3]  This is often coupled with the familiar cliché that over the centuries the Christian church has intimidated, silenced, and persecuted scientists.  A few months ago, a journalist repeated the shop-worn stereotype, writing that "proponents of Copernicus' theory were denounced as heretics and burned at the stake."[4]  A columnist recently wrote that Copernicus "scandalized the world--and more important, the Catholic Church--with his theory of heliocentric cosmology."  The same pattern continues today, the columnist goes on: "The conflict of religion and science sounds all too familiar. Darwin still has trouble getting past creationist gatekeepers in some school districts."[5]  The story of conflict does sound familiar, because it is the standard interpretation of history taught all through the public education system.  In fact, it is so widely accepted that often it is treated not as an interpretation at all, but simply as a fact of history.  Yet, surprising as it may sound, among historians of science, the standard view has been soundly debunked.  Most historians today agree that the main impact Christianity had on the origin and development of modern science was positive.  Far from being a science stopper, it is a science starter.One reason this dramatic turn-around has not yet filtered down to the public is that the history of science is still quite a young field.  Only fifty years ago, it was not even an independent discipline.  Over the past few decades, however, it has blossomed dramatically, and in the process, many of the old myths and stereotypes that we grew up with have been toppled.  Today the majority view is that Christianity provided many of the crucial motivations and philosophical assumptions necessary for the rise of modern science.[6]In one sense, this should come as no surprise.  After all, modern science arose in one place and one time only: It arose out of medieval Europe, during a period when its intellectual life was thoroughly permeated with a Christian worldview.  Other great cultures, such as the Chinese and the Indian, often developed a higher level of technology and engineering.  But their expertise tended to consist of practical know-how and rules of thumb.  They did not develop what we know as experimental science--testable theories organized into coherent systems.  Science in this sense has appeared only once in history.  As historian Edward Grant writes, "It is indisputable that modern science emerged in the seventeenth century in Western Europe and nowhere else."[7] This fact is certainly suggestive, and it has prompted scholars to ask why it is that modern science emerged only out of medieval Europe.  Sociologist of religion Rodney Stark identified the 52 figures who made the most significant contributions to the scientific revolution, then researched biographical sources to discover their religious views.  He found that among the top contributors to science, surprisingly only two were skeptics (Paracelsus and Edmund Halley).  Stark then subdivided his subjects once again into those who were "conventional" in their religious views (that is, their writings exhibit the conventional religious views of the time), and those who were "devout" (their writings express a strong personal investment).  The resulting numbers show that more than 60 percent of those who jumpstarted the scientific revolution were religiously "devout."[8]  Clearly, holding a Christian worldview posed no barrier to doing excellent scientific work, and even seems to have provided a positive inspiration.What were the key elements in that inspiration?  Let's highlight several basic principles by drawing a series of contrasts to other religions and philosophies.  If we make the claim that Christianity played a causative role in the rise of modern science, to be scientific about the matter, we must also rule out other possible causes.  Since as a matter of historical fact, no other religion or philosophy did play the same causative role, the best way to phrase the question is, Why didn't they?  Polytheistic Religions
Other religions typically differ from Christianity on one of two major points.  The God of the Old and New Testaments is a personal being, on one hand, while also being infinite or transcendent.  Many religions throughout history have centered on gods who are personal but finite--limited, local deities, such as the Greek or Norse gods.  Why didn't polytheistic religions produce modern science? 
The answer is that finite gods do not create the universe.  Indeed, the universe creates them.  They are generally said to arise out of some pre-existing, primordial "stuff."  For example, in the genealogy of the gods of Greece, the fundamental forces such as Chaos gave rise to Gaia, the great mother, who created and then mated with the heavens (Ouranos) and the sea (Pontos) to give birth to the gods.  Hence, in a polytheistic worldview, the universe itself is not the creation of a rational Mind, and is therefore not thought to have a rational order.  The universe has some kind of order, of course, but one that is inscrutable to the human mind.  And if you do not expect to find rational laws, you will not even look for them, and science will not get off the ground.  This insight into polytheism goes back to Isaac Newton, who once argued that the basis for believing there can be universal laws of nature is monotheism, since it implies that all of nature reflects the creative activity of a single Mind.  Newton was arguing against the Greek notion, still prevalent in his day, that the earth was a place of change and corruption, whereas the heavily bodies were perfect and incorruptible.  Against that view, Newton believed that both were products of a single divine Mind and therefore both were subject to the same laws.  This opened the way for his breakthrough concept of gravity--the then-revolutionary idea that the same force that explains why apples fall to the ground also explains the orbits of the planets.[9] More recently a similar argument was made by the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Melvin Calvin.  Speaking about the conviction that the universe has a rational order, he says, "As I try to discern the origin of that conviction, I seem to find it in a basic notion . . . enunciated first in the Western world by the ancient Hebrews: namely, that the universe is governed by a single God, and is not the product of the whims of many gods, each governing his own province according to his own laws.  This monotheistic view seems to be the historical foundation for modern science."[10] Eastern Pantheism
What about Eastern religions, which are in vogue even in Western cultures today?  If polytheism involves personal but finite gods, then pantheism involves the opposite--a nonpersonal and infinite deity.  Why didn't this kind of religion produce modern science?  The answer is that the god of pantheism is not really a being so much as what we might call an essence, a spiritual substratum to all reality.  And essences do not create worlds; in fact, because they are not personal agents, they do not actually do anything.  As a result, once again, there is no confidence that the universe is the creation of a rational Mind.  Moreover, rationality implies differentiation, and the god of pantheism is an all-encompassing unity, beyond all differentiation.  This explains why Eastern religions typically led to meditation, which aims at transcending rational categories, but they do not typically foster rational investigation of nature.
When the Marxist historian Joseph Needham studied Chinese culture, he wanted to know why the Chinese did not develop modern science.  Being a good Marxist, he first exhausted all materialist explanations, then finally concluded that the reason lay in the Chinese view of creation: "There was no confidence that the code of Nature’s laws could be unveiled and read, because there was no assurance that a divine being, even more rational than ourselves, had ever formulated such a code capable of being read."[11]What general principle emerges from these examples?  It is that science depends on certain prior assumptions about the nature of the universe--specifically, that the universe has an intelligible structure that can be rationally known.  Both logically and historically, that belief arises only from the conviction that the universe is the creation of an intelligent, rational Mind.  Classical Greek Philosophy
What about non-religious philosophies?  Many historians give the ancient Greeks credit as the forerunners of scientific thinking, on the grounds that they were the first to attempt to explain the world through rational principles.  Certainly, it is undeniable that Greek philosophy had an immense formative impact on Western culture.  Yet it was not enough to produce science--for several reasons.
[12]First, the classical philosophers defined science as logically necessary knowledge--knowledge of the eternal rational Forms embodied in Matter.  The problem with this definition is that once you have grasped the essence of any object by rational insight, then you can spin out all the important information about it by sheer deduction.  Take, for example, a saucepan: Once you know that the purpose of a saucepan is to boil liquids, then you can deduce that it must have a certain shape to hold the liquid, that it must be made of material that will not melt when heated, and so on.  This deductive method was the model for classical Greek thinkers. As a result, however, they had little use for detailed experiments and observations.  Thus the experimental methodology of modern science did not come from the Greeks; rather it was derived from the biblical concept of a Creator.  Medieval theologians reasoned that if God is omnipotent, as the Bible teaches, then He could have made the world in any number of different ways.  The order in the universe is not logically necessary, contrary to what the Greeks thought, but is contingent, imposed externally by God acting according to His own free will.  This was called voluntarism in theology, and Newton expressed the idea in these words: "The world might have been otherwise than it is . . . .Twas therefore no necessary but a voluntary and free determination it should be thus."[13] What does the conviction of divine freedom imply for science?  It means that we cannot gain knowledge of the world by logical deduction alone.  That is, we cannot simply deduce what God must have done; instead we have to observe and experiment to discover what God in fact did.  This was nicely stated by Newton's friend Roger Cotes, who wrote that Nature "could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God directing and presiding over all."  And because the universe is a free and contingent creation, Cotes goes on, "Therefore we must . . . learn them [the laws of nature] from observations and experiments."[14] The debate over divine freedom took place first in theology, then later were translated into the language of the philosophy of science.  In the seventeenth century, the French mathematician Marin Mersenne took issue with Aristotle's logical argument that the earth must be at the center of the cosmos.  As historian John Hedley Brook explains, "For Mersenne there was no 'must' about it.  It was wrong to say that the center was the earth's natural place.  God had been free to put it where He liked. It was incumbent on us to find to where this was."[15]  The biblical concept of God opened the door to a methodology of observation and experimentation. Mind Your Math
Many historians have offered Euclid and Pythagoras as important precursors to modern science, since they made possible the mathematical treatment of nature.  That is true, of course--with one crucial qualification: For the Greeks, mathematical truths were not fully instantiated in the material world.  This is expressed symbolically in Plato's creation myth, where the world is fashioned by a demiurge (a low-level deity) who does not actually create matter but works with pre-existing stuff.  Because his starting materials exist independently, they have independent properties over which the demiurge has no control.  He just has to do the best he can with it.  As a result, the Greeks expected the world to be nothing more than an approximation of the ideal forms--an unpredictable realm of irrational anomalies.  They did not expect to find mathematical precision in nature.  As Dudley Shapere explains, in Greek thought the physical world "contains an essentially irrational element: Nothing in it can be described exactly by reason, and in particular by mathematical concepts and laws."
[16] In contrast, the biblical God is the Creator of matter itself.  As a result, He is in complete control of His starting materials, and can create the world exactly as He wants to.  This is the operative meaning of the doctrine of creation ex nihilo--that there was no pre-existing matter, with its own eternal, independent properties, limiting what God can do with it.  Consequently, there is nothing merely arbitrary or irrational in nature.  Its orderly structure can be described with mathematical precision.  In the words of physicist Carl von Weizsacker, "Matter in the Platonic sense, which must be ‘prevailed upon’ by reason, will not obey mathematical laws exactly."  On the other hand, "Matter which God has created from nothing may well strictly follow the rules which its Creator has laid down for it.  In this sense I called modern science a legacy, I might even have said a child, of Christianity."[17]A historical example can be found in the work of Johannes Kepler.  Since the Greeks regarded the heavens as perfect, and the circle as the perfect shape, they concluded that the planets must move in circular orbits, and this remained the orthodox view for nearly two millennia.  But Kepler had difficulty with the planet Mars.  The most accurate circle he could construct still left a small error of eight arc minutes.  Had he retained the Greek mentality, Kepler would have shrugged off such a minor difference, regarding nature as only an approximation to the ideal forms.  (In this case, Greek thought was a science-stopper.)  As a Lutheran, however, Kepler was convinced that if God wanted something to be a circle, it would be exactly a circle.  And if it was not exactly a circle, it must be exactly something else, and not mere capricious variation.  This conviction sustained Kepler through six years of intellectual struggle, and thousands of pages of calculations, until he finally came up with the idea of ellipses.  Historian R. G. Collingwood goes so far as to say, "The very possibility of applied mathematics is an expression . . . of the Christian belief that nature is the creation of an omnipotent God."[18] It Was Good
A final problem with Greek thought was the low value it placed on the material world.  Matter was seen as less real, the realm of mere appearance, sometimes even the source of evil.  Many historians believe this is one reason the Greeks did not develop an empirical science.  The intellectual elites had no interest in dirtying their own hands with actual experiments, and they had contempt for the farmers and craftsmen who might have acquainted them with a hands-on knowledge of nature.
The early Christian church took strong exception to this attitude.  The church fathers taught that the material world came from the hand of a good Creator, and was thus essentially good.  The result is described by a British philosopher of science, Mary Hesse: "There has never been room in the Hebrew or Christian tradition for the idea that the material world is something to be escaped from, and that work in it is degrading."  Instead, "Material things are to be used to the glory of God and for the good of man."[19]  Kepler is, once again, a good example.  When he discovered the third law of planetary motion (the orbital period squared is proportional to semi-major axis cubed, or P[superscript 2] = a [superscript 3]), this was for him "an astounding confirmation of a geometer god worthy of worship.  He confessed to being 'carried away by unutterable rapture at the divine spectacle of heavenly harmony'."[20]  In the biblical worldview, scientific investigation of nature became both a calling and an obligation.  As historian John Hedley Brooke explains, the early scientists "would often argue that God had revealed himself in two books—the book of His words (the Bible) and the book of His works (nature).  As one was under obligation to study the former, so too there was an obligation to study the latter."[21]   The rise of modern science cannot be explained apart from the Christian view of nature as good and worthy of study, which led the early scientists to regard their work as obedience to the cultural mandate to "till the garden." The War That Wasn’t
Today the majority of historians of science agree with this positive assessment of the impact the Christian worldview had on the rise of science.  Yet even highly educated people remain ignorant of this fact.  Why is that? 
The answer is that history was founded as a modern discipline by Enlightenment figures such as Voltaire, Gibbon, and Hume who had a very specific agenda: They wanted to discredit Christianity while promoting rationalism.  And they did it by painting the middle ages as the "Dark Ages," a time of ignorance and superstition.  They crafted a heroic saga in which modern science had to battle fierce opposition and oppression from Church authorities.  Among professional historians, these early accounts are no longer considered reliable sources.  Yet they set the tone for the way history books have been written ever since.  The history of science is often cast as a secular morality tale of enlightenment and progress against the dark forces of religion and superstition.  Stark puts it in particularly strong terms: "The ‘Enlightenment’ [was] conceived initially as a propaganda ploy by militant atheists and humanists who attempted to claim credit for the rise of science."[22]   Stark's comments express a tone of moral outrage that such bad history continues to be perpetuated, even in academic circles.  He himself published an early paper quoting the standards texts, depicting the relationship between Christianity and science as one of constant "warfare."  He now seems chagrined to learn that, even back then, those stereotypes had already been discarded by professional historians.[23]  Today the warfare image has become a useful tool for politicians and media elites eager to press forward with a secularist agenda on abortion, embryonic stem cell research, various forms of genetic engineering, and so on.  When Christians raise moral objections, they are quickly discredited as reactionary, and the old "religion-versus-science" stereotype is trotted out.  It has become more important than ever for thoughtful people to educate themselves on the latest findings in the history of science.  Between now and the next election, a formative truth needs to become embedded in the cultural matrix: That Christianity is not a science stopper, it is a science starter. 
Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth, is editor at large of The Pearcey Report and the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at World Journalism Institute.  This article appears, with minor changes, in Areopagus Journal 5:1 (January-February 2005): pp. 4-9 (www.apologeticsresctr.org).  Copyright
© Nancy Pearcey. 

[1] Earlier versions of this paper were delivered at the Megaviews Forum, Los Alamos National Laboratory, September 24, 2003, and at the Veritas Forum at USC, February 18, 2004.  See also Nancy Pearcey, “How Science Became a Christian Vocation,” in Reading God’s World: The Scientific Vocation, ed. Angus Menuge (St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 2004).

[2] For more information, see www.totaltruthbook.com

[3]  Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education has frequently made the assertion that Christianity is a "science stopper."  See, for example, "Evolution and Intelligent Design," September 28, 2001, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, Episode no. 504, at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week504/feature.html  

[4] Brendan O'Neill, "They have vilified the sun--and me," Spiked, July 23, 2004, at http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA616.htm
[5]  Kathleen Parker, Townhall, December 4, 2004, at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/kathleenparker/kp20041204.shtml.  For an accessible introduction to the controversy over Darwinism, see my chapters on the topic (chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) in How Now Shall We Live?, co-authored with novelist Harold Fickett and former Nixon aide Charles Colson (Tyndale, 1999).  An updated discussion can be found in Total Truth (chapters 5, 6, 7, 8).  For a discussion of the cultural and philosophical implications of Darwinism, explaining why it continues to be controversial among the American public, see my essay "Darwin Meets the Berenstain Bears: Evolution as a Total Worldview," in Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing, ed. William Dembski (Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2004), pp. 53-73.
[6] I have developed this argument in greater detail in The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy (Crossway 1994), which is a major source for this paper.  For a shorter and more accessible treatment, see my chapter “The Basis for True Science,” chapter 40 in How Now Shall We Live?
[7] Edward Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998 [1996]), p.168.
[8] Rodney Stark, For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), pp. 160-163, 198-199.
[9] Morris Kline, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 52.  It may be important to point out that many of the historians cited in this article are not themselves professing Christians, so that their views cannot be dismissed as driven by a religious agenda.  They are simply seeking to be historically accurate and to do good scholarship.
[10] Melvin Calvin, Chemical Evolution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), p. 258, emphasis added.  See my discussion in Soul of Science, p. 25.
[11] Joseph Needham, The Grand Titration: Science and Society in East and West (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969), p. 327.  See Stark, pp. 148, 150, as well as my discussion in Soul of Science, pp. 29, 22.
[12] The following discussion gives us the clue to why Islamic cultures did not produce modern science, either.  One reason is that their intellectual life was dominated by Greek philosophy.  In the Golden Age of Islam in the seventh and eighth centuries, Muhammad's armies annexed territory from Persia to Spain--and in the process, they also absorbed the philosophies of those places.  Thus the Arab world had a rich tradition of commentary on the work of thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, and Pythagoras long before Europe did.  Indeed, two of the most prominent Aristotelian philosophers of the middle ages were Avicenna and Averroes--known in their native lands, respectively, as Abu Ali al-Hussein Ibn Sina and Abdul Waleed Muhammad Ibn Rushd.  What this means is that in terms of science, Arabic philosophy tended to have the positives but also the negatives of Greek philosophy.  See a lecture I delivered based on Total Truth at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, Oct. 19, 2004, transcript: www.heritage.org/Press/Events/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=71383.
[13] Cited in Edward B. Davis, “Newton’s Rejection of the ‘Newtonian World View’: The Role of Divine Will in Newton’s Natural Philosophy,” in Science and Christian Belief, 3, no. 1, p. 117, emphasis added.
[14] Roger Cotes, preface to the second edition of Newton’s Principia, in Newton’s Philosophy of Nature: Selections from His Writings, ed. H.S. Thayer (New York: Hafner, 1953), emphasis added.  
[15]John Brooke and Geoffrey Cantor, Reconstructing Nature: The Engagement of Science and Religion (NY: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 20.  For more on this subject, see my discussion of how voluntarist theology led to a contingent view of nature in Soul of Science, pp. 30-33, 81ff.  See also Nancy Pearcey, "Recent Developments in the History of Science and Christianity," and "Reply," Pro Rege 30, no. 4 (June 2002):1-11, 20-22.
[16] Dudley Shapere, Galileo: A Philosophical Study (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974), pp. 134-36, emphasis in original.
[17] C.F. von Weizsacher, The Relevance of Science (New York: Harper and Row, 1964), p. 163.  [18] R.G. Collingwood, An Essay on Metaphysics (Chicago: Henry Regnery, Gateway Editions, 1972; originally published by London: Oxford University Press, 1940), pp. 253-257.  See Soul of Science, pp. 27-29.[19]  Mary Hesse, Science and the Human Imagination: Aspects of the History and Logic of Physical Science (New York: Philosophical Library, 1955), pp. 42-43, emphasis in original. [20] John Hedley Brooke, "Scientists and their Gods," Science and Theology News, Volume 11/12 July/August 2001, at http://www.stnews.org/archives/2001/Jul_feat2.html.  See also John Hedley Brooke, "Can Scientific Discovery be a Religious Experience?," the Alister Hardy Memorial Lecture delivered at Harris Manchester College, Oxford on 4 Nov. 2000, at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~theo0038/brookealisterhardy.html; and John Hedley Brooke, "Science and Religion: Lessons from History?," Science, Volume 282, Number 5396 (11 Dec. 1998) pp. 1985 - 1986.  [21] John Hedley Brooke, Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 22.  See also Soul of Science, pp. 34-36. [22] Stark, p.123.  [23] The background for this change was a shift in historiography from a progressive and even triumphalistic approach, rooted in philosophical positivism, that portrayed science as the gradual accumulation of empirical facts, to a more contextualized approach, rooted in philosophical idealism, that treats scientific change as a result of changes in worldview and culture.  I devote an entire chapter to explaining this historiographical shift in Soul of Science (chapter two).

. . . Century of Cruelty: Making Sense of Our Era
Larry Elder: Farrakhan Knows What Caused New Orleans to Flood . . . Not Hurricane Katrina . . . The White Man!
CAT 5 RITA, 175 MPH, Could Be Most Intense Hurricane to Strike Lone Star State
ANN COULTER: What Would Reagan Do?

September 21, 2005

North Korea Accuses the U.S. of Planning to "Crush It to Death With Nuclear Weapons"
Katrina Deaths Rise Above 1,000
100-MINUTE BIBLE -- Not Gimmicky But Still a Page-Turner, Claims Publisher ... "Should Be a Bestseller"
Penguins Film Stirs Social, Scientific Debate
CAT 4 HURRICANE RITA Eyes Gulf Coast, Texas, Louisiana . . . 135 MPH Winds . . . Mandatory Evacuations in Galveston, New Orleans
Police Raid Internet Child Porn Group, Suspects Detained in Italy, UK, Denmark, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands
The Gospel According to Bin Laden Must Be Rejected, Says Pat Buchanan in This Look at The West's Last Chance, by Tony Blankley
WALTER WILLIAMS: Should U.S. Constitution Become Part of the Katrina Disaster?
   Udo Middelmann, lecturer and author, is President of the Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation in Gryon, Switzerland.  The foundation is a place to research Schaeffer's thought, and it offers a program of individualized study and cultural engagement during the summers.     This article is adapted from the first chapter of Middelmann's highly recommended book Proexistence: The Place of Man in the Circle of Reality (with permission).  Published in 1974, this book remains a relevant source of insight and refreshment.  The foundation can be contacted at the following address: Chalet Mon Abri CH - 1882 Gryon, Switzerland (email: UDDebCh@aol.com; phone: **41 24 498 1656).
What Is Man? By Udo MiddelmannIn the streets of Europe are thousands and thousands of young Europeans and Americans who spend all year doing nothing but hitchhiking from the colder places in the summer to the warmer places in the winter, living out of each other’s bags and offering you the shirts off their backs (often they turn out to be your own shirt). They move around in search of an identity, in search of something they can link with their own subjective experience which in itself is not big enough to give them meaning. Often the only identity they find is a series of unrelated experiences, and having these unrelated experiences becomes their absolute, their universal. For them reality has slipped away; man has become the roving creature.The movie The Graduate focuses on Benjamin, a recent college graduate who still does not know who he is. His father asks him repeatedly, “What are you going to do?” Benjamin’s concern about this self-identity is pushed aside as his father encourages him to choose an occupation: “What have you graduated for? Why don’t you work?” The very real question of Benjamin’s identity is done away with, clouded over by the concept of the occupational machine his parents’ generation has set forth. The individuality that Benjamin feels and his need to find a basis for that individuality are replaced by society and its romantically humming, running wheels. We work, we live, we have a swimming pool and four cars, we have enough wives to take turns. Aren’t all things going well? Benjamin’s “Who am I? What is my purpose?” is replaced by a pattern of society.
Yet some people see the inhumanity of this situation and in brutal honesty move out of it, realizing that the answer to the question of individual identity is not to be found in working five days a week from nine to five.
Many have come to L’Abri out of such a background and such a search. And often after they have found their individual identity, what they look for then is a way to express their identity. As Christians, we should understand that their search is right. Any generation has the right to uncover the hypocrisy of a society which pushes only for an occupational choice, a society which would put people into an occupational mold. For oftentimes the occupational choice is set up in order to cloud over the question, “Who am I?” The fact is that if there is no individual identity, then any job is totally unimportant. Any job becomes a threat to me if it stifles all search and swallows up my individuality, making me indistinguishable from any other cog in society’s machine. In such a situation, the job refashions the man, and all that is left for him is never to act but only to react. What is the proper response? Maybe the young people who are roving the streets of Europe have the right answer: Let’s run. Christianity, however, supplies another answer to Benjamin’s “Who am I?” -- an answer that does not leave Benjamin simply with the establishment of his individual identity. It goes further and points out that occupational choice is a matter of a person’s own moral character. In short, we must deal with two questions: (1) Who is man and what is his identity? and (2) How does man, having an identity, relate to work? Who Is Man?
Man is a curious phenomenon. Man is the only being that is unable not to question his identity, the only being who cannot take his identity for granted.
There are two possible ways to answer the question of identity. Let me put it personally. On the one hand, I can seek my identity in the order of things in the cosmos around me. Here I am only one thing among others. I see only a mass of particulars from which I am unable to distinguish myself. I am faced with sheer quantity, and the mass of particulars becomes a threat. On the other hand, I can deny that a separate identity is relevant or desirable and seek solace in a unity with all things. But if I do this, I become a zero. For example, if I align myself with a mass political movement, I disappear into the crowd. If I align myself with the things of the universe (as in pantheistic mysticism), I lose all possibility of individuality. If I look for my identity in a pantheistic framework, I find my essential character as a distinguishable individual denied. Looking for my identity in the sum total of all other individual things, identifying myself with everything else, I become, not equal in the sense of parallel, but unified with everything else and no longer “there” as an individual. The result is that in both Hinduism and much of our own culture I soon become replaceable. That is not a satisfactory answer to the question of my identity. What I need is a response to my own individuality that comes from beyond the particular, beyond the material, beyond the immediate situation. Any definition of the peculiar individuality of man must come from outside the present external order. It must have some degree of objective verifiability which is also open to subjective verification. In other words, it must explain all men and all men’s behavior, not in the abstract but in an intimate, subjective form. For one thing, man finds himself different from the animal. Animals only react to their environment. They do not store information that has no relationship to the present or the possibility of immediate reaction. An animal filters mental impressions that correspond to its organs and reacts to them. Furthermore, an animal has no creativity in the sense of fantasy or imagination. Man, however, is, as we say in German, weltoffen, open to creative restructuring of his present environment. He seeks his identity from beyond the immediate. Man acts rather than reacts, and he can be creative and act beyond the immediate reality. Is this feeling of transcendence an illusion? Is it sheer hypocrisy? Is man attributing something greater to himself than what corresponds to objective reality? The Bible, it seems to me, gives an answer that corresponds to what man feels and affirms. First, it traces his identity to an origin beyond the present order of existence. It claims that God -- a God who is not confined by immediate existence, who is not a part of what is materially there -- has made man in his own image (Gen. 1:26). It claims, therefore, that the primary relationship of man is beyond the immediate physical existence of particulars. His primary relationship is to God. Second, the Bible says that man was placed on earth as God’s vice-regent, the one who is to take responsibility over the rest of creation by virtue of the fact that he is made in the image of God. So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. (Gen. 2:19-20) What we have here is God creating and bringing his creation to man so that man can categorize the environment in which he lives. In Genesis 2:19-20 we have a frame-work within which the particulars of creation are placed in the proper relationship to man. Man is the one who groups his environment into classes rather than being grouped by his environment into a class -- man. Now how does he perform this classification? It is intriguing that when you look at these two short verses you find that Adam categorized his environment by means of language, of imagination. In a sense, Adam was a scientist. In Hebrew, the name of a person or thing in some way relates to who the person is or what the thing is. Thus the names which Adam gave to the animals indicated what the animals were. Adam dominated, ordered, categorized, shaped the environment in which he lived, gave form to the rest of God’s creation. In doing so, he found no one like himself. And God then gave him Eve. Adam was the vice-regent of God, being primarily related to God because he was made in God’s image. Being the vice-regent of God, he classified the plants and gave them particular names, making the objects his own by labeling them. This is not something animals can do. Imagination is another aspect of man which is his alone. By imagination I mean the formation of mental images of objects that are not present to the senses, especially those that were never perceived in their entirety. In other words, imagination is a mental synthesis of new ideas from elements experienced separately. This is a mark of creativity. It is the human capability to go from our own situation into other situations. It is also the basis for fantasy. Oftentimes people argue that because we can detect repetitive sounds in monkeys and in porpoises (and especially because porpoises have a brain structure similar to the human brain), man is nothing more than a complicated monkey or porpoise. Some research has revealed that porpoises have sounds for food, for danger and for greeting. And in fact, one can train a porpoise to react to the sounds of human language, to English sounds or French sounds and so forth. Wouldn’t it be eventually possible, then, for us to discuss abstract matter, say Hegel’s philosophy, with porpoises? I doubt it. Being able to train a porpoise to respond to a fourth, fifth, sixth, even a thousandth sound, does not prove that you can speak with a porpoise or that the porpoise is an inventor of language, a creator of linguistic data. It only proves that you can train a porpoise to react within a larger environment, filtering more impressions in relationship to the organs that he has. But the fact that he can be trained to make one sound or a thousand sounds does not mean that the porpoise is creative. He is not learning a language the way a child learns a language. One way a child learns language is by putting things in its mouth -- because that is very sensitive -- and then attaching gurgles and sounds to the objects. The first two stages go smoothly, but in the third stage comes a clash. His parents insist on one sound and the child insists on another. Of course, in the end the parents win, but the child is being creative in the sounds that he makes. By contrast, porpoises throughout the world have a universal sound pattern. An individual porpoise apparently cannot be creative in the sound that it makes. What distinguishes man from the animal, then, is the possibility of being creative beyond the immediate environment. Man can enlarge his environment, the porpoise cannot. And man can enlarge his own environment not only in the things perceived but also in the establishment of relationships between the things perceived and those things which have no objective existence. Fairy tales and fantasies mark man’s creativity. They show that man does not just react to his environment but rather acts beyond it, creating things which did not exist before him. So, when the Bible says that God placed man in the garden and brought all the animals to him and he named them, we have a statement of man’s peculiar identity. He is related first of all to God because he is made in the Image of God, and that makes him different from all other creation. And next he is the vice-regent of God and able to be creative. In my daily existence, therefore, the present situation does not need to subject me and stifle me. For the world around me is not the final point of relationship. Life and creativity extend beyond the mere now. It is grounded in that which is beyond even the Greek cosmos (a set situation regulated by a static, platonic heaven which holds in balance all finite particulars of the ordinary world). For even here, there is no possibility for significant change, for going beyond the immediate situation to a future moment or a moment in fantasy, because everything is predetermined and set. In Christianity, however, and in our own experience, we realize that life is not only in the mere now: Both past and future are real before God. Thus a Christian can have a dynamic view of history, because the future is different from the present and because the future can to some extent be shaped by my creative activity as a significant man. Being a man in part implies the ability to change the future. Man is not subject to his environment, nor does it define him. Of course there are limits. A man has to eat, he has to walk rather than fly, he has to be at this moment of history rather than that, but he has the creative ability to go beyond his immediate situation. Take the case of the artist. Michelangelo was limited by the block of marble that he saw in Carrara, but the figure that he sculpted was not what he saw in the quarry. He carved it originally from something in his mind. The same is true in science. The scientist looks at data, forms a theory, tests it, and, if it fits the situation, goes on to apply it or to see how it relates to something else. He is not just reacting to a present situation. He is able to fashion hypotheses that are not only verifiable but once having been fashioned can then themselves be a part of the reason that the future is different from the past. Furthermore, from creativity have come what we might call the good elements of the industrial revolution. All our scientific and technological advances, both in what we Germans so nicely call the inexact sciences of sociology and anthropology and the exact sciences of physics and chemistry, proceed on the basis of man’s imaginative and creative ability.
Moreover, only on the basis of this creativity is there a foundation for personal relationships and for enjoying each other. As men we can create rather than react, and this makes possible humanness and community that go beyond mere chemical compatibility.
The Bible rejects any identity that derives from nature or from the immediate environment. The world is not the final integration point, and if we look for it there, we shall only find finite gods and idolatry, as the Greeks did, or dehumanizing jobs and hypocrisy as Benjamin did in The Graduate.

   This article, along with the preceding "What Is Man?," is adapted from the first chapter of Udo Middelmann's insightful book Proexistence: The Place of Man in the Circle of Reality (with permission).  Middelmann, lecturer and author, is President of the Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation, which is based in Gryon, Switzerland.   The Francis A. Schaeffer Foundation is a place to research Schaeffer's thought, and it offers a program of individualized study and cultural engagement during the summers.  For more information, the foundation can be contacted at the following address: Chalet Mon Abri CH - 1882 Gryon, Switzerland (email: UDDebCh@aol.com; phone: **41 24 4986 ).     
Human Identity, Biblical Worldview, Creativity, and the Meaning of Work By Udo MiddelmannWhen the Bible gives me a place and says who I am and affirms my identity not from the immediate surroundings but rather from God himself, then I come to what is so intimately linked with my identity -- the need to be creative over God’s universe. And this is work. Just as God expressed himself and his character in his creation and in his revelation to man, so the image of God in man must be expressed, must be externalized. It is not a threat to me if I work, if my identity is no longer tied to the job that I do, the part in society that I play or the body in nature that I am. In fact, all of a sudden, work and creativity, so intimately linked together, become a challenge. Many Christians feel that work is a result of the Fall. They remember that when Adam was punished, he had to gain his livelihood by the sweat of his brow, he had to till the ground, do difficult and dangerous work. For example, Jacques Ellul in “Work and Calling” gives an excellent description of how Christians through Western history have viewed the notion of work. His own view is that “work is of the order of necessity. It is given to man by God as a means of survival, but it is also posed as a condition for survival. . . . It is not, therefore, a part of the order of grace, of gratuity, of love, of freedom. . . . Like violence, like political power, work also is part of the order of necessity. One cannot escape it: it is the human condition resulting from the rupture with God.”1 Work is not freedom and it has “no ultimate value, no transcendent meaning.”2 As he says, “Work is thus limited in everyday life, and even limited to the banal, to the ‘hopeless.’ It is neither value nor creation.”3 To the extent that Ellul rejects the medieval notion that “work is purely and simply a curse, a sign of the condemnation of Adam” he is, I believe, to be commended.4 But he also rejects the solution posed by Luther. Work, Luther thought, is equally valid before and after the Fall, because “it is a part of the order he [God] established for man.”5 Luther argues that “in making shoes, the cobbler serves God, obeys his calling from God, quite as much as the preacher of the Word.”6 By making a distinction between calling and work, Ellul, however, drives a wedge between the infinite and the finite, between God and man, between the activity that matters to God and the activity that matters to human history. He sees work as “the most completely relative type of situation”7 and only relevant because it prolongs human history. This view resembles rather remarkably the neo-orthodox division between the absolute and relative, infinite and finite, eternal and temporal, Geschichte and Historie, applied to calling and work. In any case, Ellul rejects the notion that work can have ultimate significance, that all of reality -- sacred and secular -- stands in relationship to the infinite-personal God. Ellul asks the question whether his solution is “not in reality a solution of despair” and answers, “To be sure, it contradicts the idea of the Christian life as the unified life, integrating the totality of our action and feelings.”8 The Bible, it seems to me, is on the side of Luther. In Genesis 2:15 before the Fall we find this statement: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” That was creative work. It was not merely a matter of man’s survival. It was a part of man’s original purpose. It tied in with his being creative and imaginative, with his being God’s vice-regent. So it isn’t that man did not work before the Fall but that his work had a different character. Before the Fall, work was easy and joyful; afterwards it was toil. But in both cases work is intimately linked with the question of who God is and who man is. Indeed, we make a mistake if we wander the streets of Europe, fleeing from any kind of work and creativity. We are wrong to seek an answer only to the question of who I am and not to the question of what I shall do. But if I see work in relationship to creativity, then I no longer work just because everybody else does it or because it is expected of me as a necessity. I do not have to look at it as a burden contrary to myself, nor see myself caught in the utilitarianism and machine likeness of our own age. Rather, I can see work as an extension of my own essential being. The Bible frequently speaks of outward manifestations of inward reality. If my inward reality is indeed to be a child of God made in the image of God, then I should project who I am out into the external world. I cannot continue in idleness once I have perceived who I am. This point is made repeatedly in the Bible. Go to the ant, O sluggard;
  consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
  officer or ruler,
she prepares her food in summer.
  and gathers her sustenance in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
  When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
  a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond,
  and want like an armed man. (Prov. 6:6-11)
If you are a man, work. It is a necessary part of the expression of who you are. It has nothing to do with the Fall or the present society. Proverbs has much to say about this: “The soul of the sluggard craves, and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” (Prov. 13:4). Or: “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits has no sense” (Prov. 12:11; cf. 28:19). “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and will not even bring it back to his mouth” (Prov. 19:24). What a picture of a man who refuses to express who he is! Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
  There is more hope for a fool than for him.
There is a lion in the streets!”
  As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who can answer discreetly. (Prov. 26:12-16)
The sluggard makes a lot of commotion, but he doesn’t get anywhere. He is like a door that moves but doesn’t move because it’s caught on its hinges. The writer of Ecclesiastes expressed it well: “Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks” (Eccles. 10:18). Nothing happens, nothing gets done, but there are definite results if you do not accept who you are as a man and if you do not work. The New Testament also speaks about sloth. The parable of the talents (Mt. 25:14-30) is a strong indictment of the “slothful servant” (v. 26). Romans 12:11 reads, “Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.” But it was apparently in Thessalonica where the problem was most prevalent, for we find in both of Paul’s letters a charge to work. In 1 Thessalonians we read, “But we exhort you, brethren, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you; so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody” (1 Thess. 4:10-12). In his second letter, Paul expands on this: Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, we did not eat any one’s bread without paying, but with toil and labour we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you. It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busy-bodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living. (2 Thess. 3:6-12) And just to show that this isn’t a harsh statement and must never be taken as harshness, to show that we must allow the individuality of the situation, Paul adds, “Brethren, do not be weary in well-doing” (v. 13). The balance is there, but the principle is clear. If any man will not work, neither let him eat. We are called on as Christians to be men before God, to have character, to fulfill the purpose of our creation which is to glorify God by being the ones he has made us to be. All of this is linked with expressing into the external world by the creative activity of work something of our identity as men. Work is linked with man’s superior status. He is different from everything else that is there.


  1. Jacques Ellul, “Work and Calling,” Katallagete (Fall-Winter 1972), p. 13.
  2. Ibid., pp. 13-14.
  3. Ibid., p. 14.
  4. Ibid., p.9.
  5. Ibid., p. 10.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid., p. 14.
  8. Ibid.  

AFP: "Clinton" and "Lewinsky" Now Trademark Names of Condoms . . . China Daily Reports . . . AP: "The Clinton condom will be our top of the line"

September 20, 2005

WANTED: Psychopaths to Optimize Market Success, Organizational Influence, Public Presence
REPORT: 46,000 Londoners Use Crack Cocaine
DRUGS: Europe Fashion Giant Drops Kate Moss From Ads Featuring Work of Stella McCartney, Daughter of Former Beatle Paul (worldphotos) 
Afghanistan Elections: Amid Taliban Threats, Voter Turnout Near 50%
Hurricane Rita Hits Florida Keys, Voluntary Evacuation in Galveston, Texas
Simon Wiesenthal Dies, 96: Holocaust Survivor, Nazi Hunter
VATICAN: Pope Approves Barring Homosexuals From Seminaries ... Even If Celibate, Because Their Condition Suggests a Disorder That Conflicts with Their Role as Minister

September 19, 2005

Religious Figure Gets 7 Years in Prison for Corruption in Philadelphia
Bill Clinton Slams President Bush on Iraq, Budget, Katrina
New Orleans Mayor Postpones Reopening City
"Under God" Opponents Turn 1st Amendment on Its Head
Merkel and Schroeder Divide Ballot for German Chancellor
. . . Vie for Power After Inconclusive German Election
GOP: Katrina's Biggest Political Casuality?

September 17, 2005

Blues Man B.B. King Thrilled at 80: "The Great One must have a reason for leaving me here.  I don't know why he did, but I am grateful."
Catholic Search for Homosexuals in Seminaries Ruffles Same-Sex Activists
Press Coverage Katrina: Politically Correct Stereotypes Contradicted by Reporters' Own Footage
Pay for Katrina Aid by Cutting Spending, Not by Raising Taxes, Says President Bush
Bush Remarks on Day of Prayer: "One day, Americans will look back at the response to Hurricane Katrina and say that our country grew not only in prosperity but in character and justice" . . . TRANSCRIPT . . .
God Hates New Orleans and Biloxi?

September 16, 2005

Neo-Nazis Gather in Greece for Euro-Fest 2005
VOTE AND DIE -- Taliban Tell Afghans to Boycott Weekend Vote Lest They Come to Harm, Suspected Taliban Gunmen Kill Candidate
Iraq: Suicide Car Bomber Targets Worshippers at Shiite Mosque
KATRINA SPEECH: Bush Promises Massive Aid for Battered Gulf Coast ... Kerry Attacks: "Leadership isn't a speech or toll-free number" ... 
... Transcript: "This great city will rise again ... Passionate soul ... will return"
... GOP Divided Over Big Federal Effort, Unbridled Spending, to Rebuild Gulf Coast
... "Era of Big Government Is Back," Says AP About Extensive Bush Katrina Plan
... WPost: Bush Address Was Attempt to Repair His Presidency
STOLEN REMBRANDT Recovered in Denmark 
Katrina Crazy: "Has Our President Gone Mad?" -- Human Events

September 15, 2005

IRAQ: Two Days of Suicide Bomb Attacks, Nearly 200 Dead in Baghdad
IRAN: Have Nuke Technology, Will Share
FEMA vs. Wal-Mart: Which One Is the Equal Opportunity Bungler?
Beauty Products From Aborted Babies, Skin Harvested From Corpses of Convicts
. . . Guardian: Chinese Firm Using Corpses for Cosmetics Targets UK, Europe Beauty Markets
Vatican to Review Seminaries for "Evidence of Homosexuality," Faculty Who Dissent from Catholic Doctrine
Filmmaker Robert Wise Dies, 1914-2005, Four Oscars, "Sound of Music"
KATRINA: 7th Most Deadly Natural Disaster to Hit U.S. 
. . . Katrina Deaths Pass 700
Delta, Northwest: Bankrupt
CAL THOMAS: Roberts Rules, Limits Courts . . . Biden Bloviates
. . . John Roberts Dossier (worldphotos)

September 14, 2005

Federal Judge: Pledge of Allegiance Unconstitutional
ABC: During Katrina Confusion, Congressman Used National Guard to Check Home, Gather Belongings
Ohio Kids in Cages
Dutch Kids in Electronic Files
ROBERTS: Congress Can Counter High Court Decisions -- National and state legislatures are "protectors of the people's rights"
Here Comes the Ump: "Judges are like umpires," said Roberts to the senators. "Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them. . . . Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire"
UK Sets Date for First Homosexual "Weddings," 42,000 Partnerships Expected by 2050
CEI: Environmentalists Opposed Upgrading Levees, Despite Warnings of "Catastrophic Consequences"
NEW BOOK: The West's Last Chance: The Threat of Radical Islam to the Survival of Western Civ
The West's Last Chance (1): "An Islamic Threat Like the Nazis"
The West's Last Chance (2): Spirit of Old War Needed in New War
The West's Last Chance (3): Why Congress Should Declare War on Militant Islamists, Dump Political Correctness Run Amok

September 13, 2005

LARRY ELDER: You Really Think Race Explains the Less-Than-Stellar Katrina Relief?
Wm. F. Buckley: Get Bush -- The post-Katrina "war against stable thought blazes on" 
George Will: Katrina Debacle Reveals What Really Needs to Change
CNN: Katrina Poll -- 6 of 10 Blacks Say Race a Factor in Slow Federal Response, Some 1 of 8 Whites Agree
ENVIRO LAW BLOCKED HURRICANE PROTECTION, Sierra Club Sued Corps of Engineers, Says Task Force
Clarence Page: Rebuild New Orleans, But Not This Part
Archbishop: Homosexuals Should Not Be Accepted Into Seminary
Veteran Firefighter Replaces Brown as New Director of FEMA

September 12, 2005

WTIMES: To Win in Iraq (worldphotos)
WPOST: Russel L. Honore -- The Category 5 General
Roberts Confirmation Hearings for Supreme Court Begin
. . . Roberts' Opening Statement . . . Transcript . . .
U.S. Remembers Sept. 11:  Silence, Taps, Memorials
BUSH ON RACE AND KATRINA: "Storm didn't discriminate and neither will the recovery effort"
Israel Lowers Its Flag Over Gaza, 38-Year Military Presence Ends

September 10, 2005

"Dolly" the Sheep Creator: Embyonic Stem-Cell Research Saves Time, Money, Animals
BBC: Shakespeare in Kabul (portrait:John Sanders)
Pastor Called Before Tribunal for "Anti-Homosexual" Letter to Editor in Newspaper
USS IOWA to House Pro-Homosexual Museum?
Blacks Question Local Leadership During Katrina: "Mayor Nagin has blamed everyone else but himself"
Judge Revokes Bail for "Mississippi Burning" Klansman
IRAQI TROOPS LEAD ATTACK on Northern City of Tal Afar
Reuters: U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Remember September 11
Evacuees in Houston Astrodome to Get Apartments Soon
FINANCIAL TIMES: Not Convinced of Intelligent Design, but the Raging Debate in U.S. "a Good Thing"
FEMA Removes Michael Brown as Head of Katrina Relief

September 9, 2005

David Limbaugh: Howard Dean and the Attack of the Race-Baiters
Ben Stein: 12 Reasons to Get Hurricane Katrina Off Bush's Back
Searchers Find Fewer Bodies Than Feared in First Sweep of New Orleans
New Orleans Officials Ignored City's Own Disaster Plan (worldphotos)
Baghdad Airport Security Now in Hands of Iraqi Forces
Unmarried Motherhood Reached Record-High Level in 2003, Say Researchers
Two Sex Offenders Killed by Man Who Admits Hunting Them Down
$51.88 Billion Approved for Federal Katrina Relief
GOP Group in Texas Indicted, Linked to House Majority Leader DeLay

September 8, 2005

BUSH DECLARES: National Day of Prayer,  Friday, Sept. 16, 2005 ... for Strength to Help Victims of Katrina
. . . President's Statement: "Throughout our history in times of testing, Americans have come together in prayer to heal and ask for strength for the tasks ahead. So I've declared Friday, September the 16th, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that we pray -- as Americans have always prayed in times of trial -- with confidence in His purpose, with hope for a brighter future, and with the humility to ask God to keep us strong so that we can better serve our brothers and sisters in need."
HURRICANE KATRINA Casts Economic Voodoo, Walter Williams Breaks the Spell
Armchair First-Responder Hillary Leads Charge for Katrina Commission
25,000 BODYBAGS IN LOUISIANA, New Orleans Floodwaters Thick With Sewage-Related Bacteria . . .
Flood Infections Kill Four
Democratic Chairman Dean Tells Black Baptist Group: "Ugly Truth ... Skin Color" Played Role in Who Survived Katrina
Saddam's Lawyer: No Confession
Oct. 15 Set as Date of Constitution Referendum in Iraq
SCHWARZENEGGER Vows to Veto Homosexual "Marriage" Bill (worldphotos)
. . . Veto Statement by Gubernatorial Press Secretary
. . . Reuters: Democrats Say Same-Sex "Marriage" Bill Was Symbolic Gesture, Didn't Expect Support From Calif. Gov.
Berlin: Anarchist TV Ad Offends German Viewers
Beware Katrina Wolves in Sheeps' Clothing

September 7, 2005

TOP SENATE DEMOCRAT Wants to Investigate Bush Vacation for Possible Katrina Negligence
Terry Jeffrey: Rehnquist's Unfinished Counter-Revolution
Kidnapped Contractor Freed by U.S. Military in Iraq
Palestinian Gunmen Kill Arafat's Cousin, Former Security Chief Dragged From Gaza Home and Shot in Street (worldphotos)
REUTERS UK: Iraqi Leader on Saddam's Confession -- "The orders were released by me"
Delta Air Lines Sells Jets to Avoid Bankruptcy
UN SCANDAL SPREADING: From Russia With Bribes
Mayor of New Orleans: Get Out Now . . . Police and Military Authorized to Force Evacuations

September 6, 2005

Thomas Sowell: Breakdown in New Orleans Reveals Fragility of Freedom, Inadequacy of Liberalism  
WESLEY PRUDEN: Critics Paint Bush as Villain on Katrina, But Most Americans Aren't Buying (worldphotos)
NEW ORLEANS AFTER 7 DAYS -- Crews Repair Major Levee Breach, Waters Begin to Recede, Deaths May Reach 10,000 in City Alone
. . . Armed Residents Protect Homes From Katrina Looters, Lawlessness
. . . City "Completely Destroyed," Says Deputy Police Chief
. . . Fans Blue About Birthplace of Jazz

September 5, 2005

McCartney Still Inspired by Lennon, Next Album Released Sept. 13
Modern Art in Iran: Collection Featuring Van Gogh, Picasso, Gauguin Exhibited for First Time
Highly Sought After Saudi Terrorist Killed in Kingdom Gun Battle
PARIS -- Teen Argument Precedes Deadly Fire in Paris Suburb, Girls Confess to Third Killer-Blaze in Paris Area in Nine Days
BATON ROUGE -- Six-Year-Old Boy Leads Todders to Safety, 7 Children Wandering Together Emerge From Chaos
KATRINA BAD, BUSH WORSE: Debra Saunders Navigates the Flood of Bush-Bashing
Bush Picks Roberts for Chief Justice, Urges Confirmation in Time for Fall Term, Oct. 3
CHERTOFF: State and Local Officials Didn't Tell Top Feds Early on About Deaths and Food Needs at Superdome and Convention Center
AP: Counting the Dead Begins, New Orleans a "ghastly landscape perhaps awash in thousands of corpses" 
FRENCH QUARTER SURVIVAL STRATEGY: "Some people became animals, we became more civilized"
Condoleeza Rice Defends Bush Against Charges That Racism Delayed Response to Katrina
"Big Easy" Lawmen Kill Four Looters After Taking Fire
Police Officers Overwhelmed: At Least 200 Have Left New Orleans Force, 2 Suicides
STEM-CELL OPTIMISM Tainted by "Arrogance and Spin"

September 3, 2005

Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 1924-2005 ... Washington Times ... BBC ... NYT
Rapper Kayne West Trashes President Bush During NBC Katrina Telethon
KIDMAN MOVIE Is CIA-Backed Propaganda -- Zimbabwe
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Calm After Meeting With President Bush
Bush Commits 7,000 Additional Troops to Katrina-Battered Gulf Coast
EVACUATION BEGINS at New Orleans Convention Center
Banning Intelligent Design From Evolution Classes Is Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Reverse, Says William Rusher
American Muslim Group Condemns Terrorism, Statement to Be Sent to Mosques in U.S.
EDITH SCHAEFFER: "How can love and community come out of the realm of theory and become a part of our moment-by-moment lives?"
J. RICHARD PEARCEY: A Review of The Da Vinci Code. . . "Easter" and Other Four-Letter Words. . . Did Chief Justice Roy Moore Go Too Far? . . . Did Madonna Go Far Enough?. . . Pizza With Michelangelo
GALLERY: Switzerland Slideshow -- St. Moritz, Zurich (internationalposter.com) 

September 2, 2005

Pat Buchanan: Who Lost New Orleans? (worldphotos)
Reactionary Left Exploits Race, Iraq, Kyoto Against Bush on Katrina
CONSTANT GARDENER: Hollywood Agitprop "evangelizing the masses in liberalism" -- Townhall Movie Critic Megan Basham
CONSTANT GARDENER: "As cynical about international politics and commerce as I can imagine.  I would like to believe . . . an exaggeration, but I fear . . . not.   This is one of the year's best." -- Roger Ebert 
Islam Critic in Secret Meeting With Pope, Oriana Fallaci Hated by Italian Left
SWITZERLAND BANS TWO AIRLINES: "Systematic Security Deficiencies"
First Executions in Post-Saddam Iraq: Three Men Convicted of Murdering Policemen, Kidnapping, Rape
$90 MILLION IN PRIVATE U.S. AID Pours in for Katrina Relief
National Guard From Iraq Duty to Fight New Orleans Anarchy: "Those troops know how to shoot and kill," says governor, "and I expect they will"
"Terrorist Katrina Is One of the Soldiers of Allah" -- Kuwaiti 
UPDATE: Fats Domino OK

September 1, 2005

London Zoo (1): Are Humans Just Another Primate?
London Zoo (2): "Humans in Their Natural Environment?"
POLL: Americans Divided Over Creation-Evolution, While Most Agree Students Should Hear the Alternatives
"Desperate SOS" -- New Orleans Mayor
KATRINA -- BUSH ORDERS BIGGEST RELIEF EFFORT SINCE 9/11 . . . Deploys Navy Ships, Army Helicopters: "Challenges ... are unprecedented ... No doubt in my mind we're going to succeed" . . .
. . . Superdome Shelter: Intense Unrest 
. . . LA Senator: "We Understand There Are Thousands of People Dead"
. . . 25,000 More Refugees Head to Texas, San Antonio to Provide Shelter
. . . New Orleans Hospitals Sink Into Disaster: Unsanitary Conditions Spread, Babies Airlifted Without Parents to Other States
. . . Fats Domino Missing Since Monday, New Orleans House Under Water
. . . Concerts and TV Telethons for Victims of Katrina