TBT^4: Back to School with Richard Weaver

We’re back into the swing of things with the new school year, and as of the time of this writing, I have not yet made my annual dip into the introduction to Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences.  That’s due in part to my morning Bible study, which has taken precedence over other, non-work-related reading, and because I’m weary with how accurate Weaver’s prophetic scribblings are.

I’m by no means black pilled, though.  Sure, things are not good at the moment, but life goes on and God Is in Control.  The solution is not to embrace the black pill, but to take the Christ Pill.

Regardless, we can take some joy in our daily lives while recognizing the real dangers facing liberty and civilization.  Being a Christian shouldn’t have to mean accepting the erosion of religious liberty and the secularization of our culture.  Indeed, we’ve probably been too complacent, especially on the latter point.

As such, Richard Weaver’s insights are still worth pondering today.  Studying the diagnosis could suggest a cure, or at least a course of treatment.

With that, here is 20 August 2020’s “TBT^2: Back to School with Richard Weaver“:

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Flashback Friday^2: Christmas and its Symbols

Okay, okay—it’s not Christmas.  But, hey, close enough, right?

There will be an actual Christmas post tomorrow morning, though it’s going to be very short.  But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to turn “Flashback Friday” into “Flashback Friday^2,” angering mathematicians and calendar enthusiasts everywhere.

The original post in this “series,” “Christmas and its Symbols,” contains some excellent Christmas wisdom.  So often we hear Christmas denounced as a secretly “pagan” holiday because we hang wreaths, put up trees, and dangle mistletoe.  But as one meme I’ve seen recently put it (to paraphrase), “Yes, I love to display the trophies of my vanquished foes.”

Christianity sure did kick—and continues to kick—some butt.  We could probably do with some more warrior-monks running around with maces and clubs.

For this weekend and beyond, though, Jesus—as He always does—will do.

With that, here is “Flashback Friday: Christmas and its Symbols“:

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Flashback Friday: Christmas and its Symbols

It’s Christmas!  Another magical day to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

2020 was a tough year, but Christ is mightier than The Virus.  Thank God—literally!—for sending His Son.

Have a wonderful, safe, loving Christmas Day.  God Bless all of your for your support and generosity, and for being such amazing readers.

Here’s 25 December 2019’s “Christmas and its Symbols“:

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Lazy Sunday LXXIX: Forgotten Posts, Volume III

Lazy Sunday is rolling on with some more “Forgotten Posts” (check out Volume I and Volume II).  Again, the criteria for selection is pretty loose—I scroll through my archives and find posts I don’t link to very often, or which I’ve largely forgotten that I wrote.  Even that’s not a hard-and-fast rule.

This week’s selections come from June 2019.  The summer is always a slow month for new; ergo, it’s a slow month for blogging.  But with a self-imposed daily post requirement, I’ve gotta come up with something.  Here’s a taste of those somethings:

There’s another Lazy Sunday in the books.  Speaking of books, I’ll be cracking them pretty hard this week, as school resumes this Thursday.  It’s going to be an interesting year.  Wish me luck.

In the meantime, enjoy your Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Cancelling Jesus

Yesterday, I wrote about the destruction of statues of American leaders—the destruction of American history.  My position is that tearing down virtually any statue—Confederate, Union, Theodore Roosevelt, etc.—is the untenable erasure of our nation’s history.  Further, the historic illiteracy of the woke SJWs has seen the defenestration of statues of abolitionists—an absurdity for groups that claim to be fighting against the legacy of slavery.

In that context, I made a big deal about the toppling of a statue of Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln has assumed something of a demigod status in American history, one that glosses over some of the thorny issues of how to respond to the secession of the Southern States (a real question at the time was, having opted into the Constitution, could States later opt out; for a good biographical read on that issue, check out “A Voice of Reason” by John Marquardt at the Abbeville Institute).  Lincoln was certainly a man with many noble qualities, and a keen constitutional mind.  The toppling of his statues is the height of insanity—or nearly so.

In my haste, I neglected the even more egregious calls to destroy statues and stained glass windows depicting The most important Figure in world historyJesus Christ.

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Remembering Ravi Zacharias

On Tuesday this week—19 May 2020—the great Christian apologist and evangelist Ravi Zacharias went Home to Christ.  The obituary on his ministry’s website details the story of his radical conversion to Christianity in a hospital bed in India, where he heard the Gospel while recovering from a suicide attempt, and then on through his remarkable ministry.

Ravi Zacharias brought intellectual heft to Evangelical Protestantism; even his radio program was called Let My People Think.  Zacharias recognized that emotional appeals alone would not always win people to Christ; there had to be compelling reasons for what made Christianity True, not just one religion among many.  The knee-jerk response among Evangelicals (one I have been guilty of many times) is not the bold, intellectual defense of the faith, but denunciations of other faiths in a sort of Truth-by-elimination, something Zacharias warned against in an address in 1983.  From the obituary:

In front of 3,800 evangelists from 133 countries, Zacharias opened with the line, “My message is a very difficult one….” He went on to tell them that religions, 20th-century cultures and philosophies had formed “vast chasms between the message of Christ and the mind of man.” Even more difficult was his message, which received a mid-talk ovation, about his fear that, “in certain strands of evangelicalism, we sometimes think it is necessary to so humiliate someone of a different worldview that we think unless we destroy everything he holds valuable, we cannot preach to him the gospel of Christ…what I am saying is this, when you are trying to reach someone, please be sensitive to what he holds valuable.”

Zacharias profoundly shaped my own walk with Christ.  I am very thankful for my Pentecostal upbringing, which bathed me from the time I was a child in God’s Word.  But Southern Pentecostalism in the 1990s tended to be extremely emotive—I would say, at times, even performative.  The emphasis of the (often agonizingly) long church services of my youth were more about creating an atmosphere of worship—at worst, attempts to tempt the Holy Spirit to move, at best sincere responses to the Moving of the Holy Spirit—than about digging into the hard Truths of the Gospels.

At least, that sometimes seemed the case to my thirteen-year old self, who often wondered what my problem was when I wasn’t getting caught up in everything the way the rest of the congregation was.  But then one of my aunts—probably my Aunt Marilyn, though it could have been my Aunt Cheryl, the best one-eyed piano player in Aiken County—introduced us to Ravi Zacharias in Sunday School.  We did a study using the youth version of Zacharias’s Jesus Among Other Gods, a masterpiece of Christian apologia.

Suddenly, here was a man who debated Ivy League philosophers—and got the better of them!  For a bookish teenager who didn’t always respond to the emotive side of faith, Zacharias was a powerful role model.  Here was a man who thought critically about faith, and who used his intellect to defend ours.  The fact that he came to Christ out of a totally alien culture and religion further demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit to reach anyone.

I should note that, while the church services were often heavy on emotion, our Sunday School classes were where the deep digging occurred; we didn’t just shut off our brains.  Southern Pentecostalism—probably as a result of its strong Scotch-Irish roots—is inherently skeptical of all worldly claims.  The default position towards the world’s wisdom is critically analytic.  There’s also a scrappy outsider mentality, which, at its best, serves to embolden our tenacity, even if it makes us wary of potential faith allies.  In other words, it wasn’t all just pew-hopping and thirty-minute altar calls:  that plucky skepticism of worldliness is one of the best qualities of my religious upbringing.

But I digress.  Zacharias drew others to a deeper understanding of their faith in Christ.  White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany—talk about a spunky Scotch-Irish fighter!—gave a tearful interview to CBN News in which she detailed Zacharias’s influence:

When asked where the tears were coming from, she explained further. It goes back to her days developing her faith at Oxford University in England of all places.

“To have someone from an academic place, as an apologist could equip you with those arguments where you didn’t have to check your brain at the door when you became a Christian where there is the intellectual foundation for everything we believe,” McEnany explained. “There’s prophecy. There’s the human cell. There’s the amazing creation of the human body and all of its complexity and the planet, the universe.”

“And he put a philosophical and academic rationale for the heart that I had for Christ, but gave me the ability to go to Oxford, where there are renowned atheist scholars who try to say there’s no intellectual undergirding for Christianity,” she continued. “Ravi Zacharias, who happened to have an office at Oxford was the person who provided the counter to that, the intelligence behind why we believe what we believe.”

Amen.  Ravi Zacharias’s influence will reverberate through the lives he won for Christ, and his bold, intellectual defense of Christianity will continue to win souls.

Rest in Peace.

You Can’t Cuck the Tuck III: Liberty in The Age of The Virus

The Washington Post blares under its masthead that “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”  That alliterative tag line for The Bezos Post is intended as a not-so-subtle jab at Donald Trump, as “democracy” for The Post and the rest of the Mainstream Media means “letting overcredentialed grad students and aloof experts run everything while ignoring the proles.”  Apparently, a businessman who has slashed federal taxes and regulations and devolved power back to the States is a would-be authoritarian.

For all its dire virtue-signalling and hand-wringing, though, The Post and its ilk are wrong:  just like the unsuspecting coeds in Midsommar, liberty dies in broad daylight.

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Lazy Sunday LIX: The God Pill Series

Two weeks ago, in “Lazy Sunday LVII – Christianity, Part II,” I wrote that my three “God Pill” posts “would make a really good Lazy Sunday… and out of increasing desperation to cobble together compilations, I’ll likely do it one week, with greater detail about each individual post.”  Well, here we are:  the desperation (and my lack of originality) has brought me to this point.

For those unfamiliar with the terminology, the concept of “pilling” someone, or of being “pilled” in some way, ultimately goes back to The Matrix.  Orpheus offered Neo the blue pill, which would allow him to continue living in the simulacrum of our world, a world that was an entirely false but somewhat comforting illusion, or to take the red pill, would which would allow him to peek behind the veil and see Reality for what it truly is.

The edgier corners of the Internet began using the term “red-pilled” some years ago—I don’t know exactly when, but I saw the term used increasingly in during the long and exciting 2015-2016 election season—to refer to those who embraced the hard Truths that the mainstream media and our elites refuse to tell.  They’re those comforting little lies (“Diversity is Our Strength!”) that are hammered into us from an early age at school, in the news, in pop culture, etc.

For some, red-pilling turned to the dreaded Black Pill:  embracing nihilism.  Black Pillers argued that the hard Truths of the Red Pill revealed to them another hard truth:  that Red Pill reform is impossible at this point, as it would require an impossibly massive paradigm shift.  As such, the only option was to acknowledge the Truth—and that no one would ever believe it.  The Black Pillers are nihilistic Cassandras that, knowing they can’t warn the Blue Pill masses about the doom they face, instead decide to go along for the ride, seeing no other options.

But despair is a sin.  Ultimately, some Red and Black Pillers, in their relentless searches for Truth, came upon THE Truth:  Jesus Christ.  Thus, the God Pill.  They came to realize there is more to life than being good with chicks (much of the Red Pill community was centered in the manosphere) and wallowing in hopelessness.

Such was the case of Roosh V, the notorious proprietor of the now-defunct Return of Kings, and a former pick-up artist.  Roosh converted to Christianity after moving through all of the phases above:  Blue Pill chumpitude, Red Pill immorality, and Black Pill despair.  Ultimately, he embraced Christ, and it’s been a remarkable conversion experience.

These posts detail that transformation:

  • The God Pill” (and “TBT: The God Pill“) – This original post in what I’m now dubbing The God Pill series dives into some of the history I detailed above, focusing more on the manosphere itself, and Roosh’s role in it as one of the neo-masculine trinity (alongside the other “R” names:  Rollo and Roissy).  It also talks about Roosh’s conversion, and the concrete changes he made at the time to live a more godly life.
  • The God Pill, Part II” – About a year after his conversion, Roosh decided to unpublish the remainder of his “game” books—books with advice for men about how to meet women.  He’d already unpublished most of his more explicit works, but left his tour de forceGame, available, as he viewed it as an “agnostic tool” that could be used for good or evil—to find a good Christian wife for marriage, or to bed random floozies.
  • The God Pill, Part III” – This post delves a bit more into how Roosh began to see how debased modern society is, and what brought about his ultimate conversion to Christianity.  It also ends with a reminder that “God loves you.  That’s why He sent His Son to die for us.”

The Internet is a frightening place, but there are a lot of folks turning to it to find meaning.  Many of them, sadly, get lost down some dark byways.  But God is working even there.  Roosh’s conversion is just one example of how a thoughtful, flawed individual was brought to a loving knowledge of Christ, and I hope his story will inspire others.

That’s it for this Sunday.  Stay safe!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Lazy Sunday LVII: Christianity, Part II

A Special Easter Notice:  Pick up my latest release, The Lo-Fi Hymnalfor just $4 (or name your own price).

Way back on 17 March 2019, on just the fourth ever Lazy Sunday, the theme was “Christianity.”  I’ve written quite a bit about the One True Faith over the past year, but I haven’t made it another feature of Lazy Sunday since then.

Well, today is Easter, so it’s time to dust off the Christological archives and look at some more Christianity-related posts:

  • He is Risen!” (and “TBT: He is Risen!“) – Any Easter compilation has to include this post (and its TBT reblog), a simple celebration of the Resurrection.  This one will become a perennial reblog, I’m sure, as long as I keep this self-indulgent blog going.
  • The God Pill” (and “TBT: The God Pill“); “The God Pill, Part II“; “The God Pill, Part III” – These posts would make a really good Lazy Sunday (like “Lazy Sunday XXXIV – The Desperate Search for Meaning Series“), and out of increasing desperation to cobble together compilations, I’ll likely do it one week, with greater detail about each individual post.  Suffice it to say, though, that these essays reflect on the remarkable conversion of Roosh V to Christianity.  Roosh gave up his life of meaningless romantic trysts—and lucrative book sales—for Jesus.  Pretty amazing stuff.
  • The Joy of Hymnals” (and “The Lo-Fi Hymnal“) – I’ve been linking to this post more lately as I’m shamelessly turning My Father’s Blog into a den of thieves, promoting my hastily-compiled release The Lo-Fi Hymnal (just $4!).  But I also sincerely enjoy playing hymns at church; it’s one of the things I most miss about The Age of The Virus.  My tentative plan was to record some more cellphone hymns on my parents’ old upright piano, but the key bed is so gummy from lack of maintenance, half of the keys aren’t playable (sorry for calling you out, Mom).

That’s it for today.  Happy Easter!  He is Risen!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments: