24 September 2017

Hezbollah's Victory, the Fall of ISIS and Principles of Historical Interpretation

This story has received almost no coverage in the West but it's significant. And though it undoubtedly vexes a good number of people in both Israel and America, it is nevertheless true.
Hezbollah, born of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, shocked everyone in 2006 by presenting a serious challenge to Israel on the battlefield. Since then it has grown even stronger and has recently scored significant victories in Syria. Hezbollah, a Shiite paramilitary organisation allied with Iran, waged a fierce war against the Sunni extremists of ISIS.

23 September 2017

Trump +247: Mueller, the 9/11 Cover-up and the DNC Crisis

Robert Mueller is considered to be a man of integrity, of impeccable credentials and character. His appointment to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 election was lauded by the Establishment political class, media and a great deal of the public.
And yet the same media is utterly failing to connect his name to the recent Saudi scandal that's been quietly making the news. It seems the media would rather this story just went away.
For years some of the families associated with the victims of 9/11 have been dissatisfied with the official investigation. With good reason they view it as insufficient, truncated and even corrupt.

22 September 2017

12 September 2017

Kony, Kagame and AFRICOM

Some readers will no doubt remember the Kony 2012 movie sensation. It was a flash in the pan that was quickly eclipsed by other events, especially the Chibok girls in 2014. All of these stories, from al-Shabaab's 2012 Church attacks in Kenya to the 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall have played a role in shaping Western public opinion with regard to Western military interventions in Africa.

08 September 2017

Azerbaijan: A Den of Spies, Secrets and Dirty Deals

Azerbaijan continues in its role as an energy supplier to the West and a staging ground and a clandestine base for Western and Israeli operations... especially against Iran. Baku serves largely as a facilitator for Western intelligence agencies.

05 September 2017

Russian Sanctions and the US Energy Sector

This is short clip of an interview with John Pilger on RT's Going Underground. I post it because of his brief commentary on Russia and in particular his reference to the August sanctions pushed by the United States. He correctly observes that once again the notion that Trump is some kind of Russian agent is patently absurd. While momentarily attempting to reach out to Russia and find common cause on the geopolitical scene his administration has already in its short tenure escalated the tensions and antagonism vis-à-vis Moscow.
And just days ago further diplomatic moves were made by Washington in forcing the Russians to close three consulates.

03 September 2017

Authoritarianism Transcends the Pseudo-Political Divide

Here are a couple of recent postings from The Intercept that I found to be relevant.
While the author (Biddle) is hardly friendly to Wikileaks, he raises some interesting points with regard to the direction the US government is heading. Mike Pompeo, head of the CIA seems to be leading the charge. Of course as I and many others have pointed out, there's been quite a reversal on Wikileaks by figures within the GOP and Trump Administration. During the campaign they praised Assange, now they want him dead.

29 August 2017

Sino-Indian Tensions and the Wider Implications

*I wrote this about a week ago and didn't manage to publish it until now. As of today (29Aug2017), both sides have initiated a stand down/de-escalation process. Nevertheless it wouldn't take much for the tensions to be re-kindled and it's always there ready to explode. It had been for more than fifty years. The point being that a US war with North Korea and the American relationship with New Delhi have wider Asian implications.

03 August 2017

The Judaizing and Anti-Covenantal Nature of so-called Sacred Architecture

This represents another sad instance of the Colson crowd's faulty understanding of the gospel. Their grasp of Scripture is defective and in this case... painfully on display.
People are being converted by architecture? Apparently the Word is not required! Apparently being inspired by stonework and having a rapturous experience is enough to lead someone to conversion?

31 July 2017

Redeemer PCA: Men in Tights

This video is generating a lot of reaction within Reformed circles.... a lot of people are saying, wait a minute, what are we doing here? This is particularly problematic within the Confessional sphere. The bulk of their churches have abandoned their historic doctrines when it comes to liturgy and its Scriptural regulation. They're left scrambling in trying to come up with solid arguments against some of the abusive forms of modern innovative worship.

The Simmering Balkans

A fascinating article as are all things Balkan.
But as is often the case it's only hinting at larger truths... the KLA/UÇK was from the beginning a CIA (via the German BND) backed operation. The state of Kosovo is in particular a US project and proxy. But in a wider circle the US is utilising an informal alliance with Albanian Nationalism which affects not only Kosovo, but Albania, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro.

22 July 2017

Sodomy on the March in Spain and the Coming Battles over Gay Conversion Therapy

This law is a cause for concern but it also drives one to reflect on nations like Italy, Ireland and in this case Spain. These nations so long under the influence and at times even domination of the Roman Catholic Church are completing a multi-generational process of undoing and dismantling Rome's legacy and moral teachings.

17 July 2017

Proxy Sanctions: THAAD and the Republic of Korea

Beijing is angry about the US placement of the THAAD missile system in South Korea. With valid reason they view it as a threat and one pointed more at them, than the North Koreans. The rulers of China have decided to punish South Korea through business sanctions.

12 July 2017

Dominionism, Fascism and The Handmaid's Tale

I remember when the original movie came out in 1990, but at the time I was somewhere between a pagan and a confused ex-Evangelical. I wouldn't have fully understood the context. I still have not seen the movie and doubt I will, but this review was quite interesting.

09 July 2017

The Ukraine-South Sudan Connection

Hmm... why would Ukraine be involved in something like this, something certain to bring bad press?
Are they desperate for extra revenue, so that even while they're in the midst of a low-grade conflict, which at any time could escalate... they sell off parts of their arsenal?

An Editorial Note

I wish to apologise to readers for what can only be described as a lack of editorial zeal and acumen. I know my articles and essays are filled with sundry grammatical errors. There are misspellings and in some cases missing words.

06 July 2017

French Militarism in Africa

France under the new Macron administration is obviously looking to expand its military influence. Macron has proposed to reinstate conscription and now a second trip to Mali as well as this new agreement indicates Old French West Africa is far from dead.

04 July 2017

Total Information Awareness Revealed: A Bit at a Time

I guess this is news to some people, but we've long known the leading proliferator of malware in the world is the outfit headquartered in Langley.
I cannot say for sure of course but with the recent kerfuffle regarding what some consider to be a international (and possibly fake) ransomware attack... one either perpetrated by amateurs or state-actors who had no intention of cashing-in on Bitcoin... the first thing I thought of was Langley or one of their many proxies. The NSA is of course another possibility.

01 July 2017

Amanpour Challenged

Establishment shill Christiane Amanpour has been challenged by the Russian government to interview the family of the famous Aleppo boy. As many readers will undoubtedly know the father and son have resurfaced and have challenged the Western narrative.

29 June 2017

Hersh, Trump and the Chemical Attack in Syria

Even as reports are being made that Syria is planning another chemical attack accompanied by White House threats, the American media refuses to acknowledge this latest piece by Seymour Hersh.
Fake news is whatever fails to fit the official narrative. After breaking the story of Abu Ghraib, the US media has now turned completely against Hersh. He's angered them before but his reporting on the lies and open questions surrounding the bin Laden assassination was beyond the pale.

BND Spying on America: Missing the Point

Another interesting revelation has surfaced in our modern era of digital espionage and surveillance. The German Bundesnachtrichtendienst or BND, their equivalent of the CIA, has been spying on other EU members and the United States.
Was it an accident? Why would they do this?

27 June 2017

A DTS Podcast on Theology and Technology

A recent Dallas Theological Seminary podcast on technology and theology provided a sobering instance of worldview teaching's syncretistic tendencies. It might be added the failure and unbiblical nature of worldview-Dominionism can have startling implications for both the Church and the culture. When it comes to technology the stakes are high and I found myself a bit taken aback by the guest's shortsightedness, even blindness when it comes to these questions.

24 June 2017

A Very Confused Marine

This is one of those stories that got a lot of traction in Evangelical circles but it's so fraught with problems it's difficult to know where to begin. I see little point in investing a great deal of time and energy in hashing out an extensive commentary but a few points are warranted.

19 June 2017

The Congressional Shooter: The Right's Ridiculous Response

I shouldn't have been surprised but I must confess I was taken aback by the recent comments and diatribes by Right-wing figures over the GOP baseball shooting in Alexandria VA. A Bernie Sanders supporter decided to go after congressional Republicans and he himself went down in a hail of gunfire after shooting several people including House Whip Steve Scalise.

18 June 2017

The DUP and Ulster's Christian Witness

With Theresa May's failed bid to secure a sold Parliamentary majority in the recent Snap election, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland has been the subject of a great deal of media attention. They are her 'ace in the hole', her means to retain power and avoid resignation and further elections in the near future.

17 June 2017

The Karzai Connection: Afghanistan, the CIA and Drugs

Some time ago I listened to this Fresh Air piece on NPR. It was interesting but also a little frustrating in that it represents what I consider typical Establishment journalism.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother to the more famous and now ex-Afghan president Hamid Karzai was involved in the drug trade and had connections to the CIA. He occasionally made it into the international news but was largely ignored except by those following the seemingly endless US occupation. His assassination in 2011 is really the only reason he's getting any attention now.

11 June 2017

Gülen's Compound: A Backcountry Exile... Conveniently Located

I must confess it was kind of exciting to sit in my car outside the gate of Gülen's compound in the Poconos. I was passing through and PA-33 actually facilitated my route. Coming out of southern New Jersey, I was working my way up to I-80. I pulled off in Saylorsburg and my wife turned to me and asked "Are you looking for that Turk?"
I couldn't suppress my grin. It's not a question I get asked every day.

09 June 2017

Trump and the Qatar Crisis

While receiving some press coverage, the growing Qatar Crisis is worthy of larger consideration. Standard commentaries on the Middle East rightly identify the ongoing struggle between the Saudi's and Islamic Republic of Iran. Sometimes it's even referred to as the Middle Eastern Cold War. This is a multifaceted struggle over the leadership of Islam, Sunni vs. Shiite, Arab vs. Persian and it also represents an aspect of a larger proxy struggle between the great powers.

07 June 2017

The West and Trump +138

Reflections on the Trump Era (Late Spring 2017)
It's difficult to assess the Trump administration thus far. Its chaotic nature and moment by moment shifts in action, narrative and presentation have created an air of bedlam and disarray. While sometimes unintentional, a strong case can be made that in many cases this is a deliberate tactic.

06 June 2017

Evangelical Testimony in the Islamic Republic of Iran

I've been following a story which broke at the end of last year about the Assemblies of God in Iran. They were accused by Tehran of being collaborators with the American CIA. As a consequence they've had some property seized.

30 May 2017

Comey and Conservative Theological Liberalism

It is not my intention here to comment on the Comey-Trump scandal and all that goes with it. I hope to write something about these early days of Trump in the near future.
I found this article interesting because awhile ago I picked up on the Comey connection to religious education and the fact that he had been a Sunday School teacher in a United Methodist Church.
Suddenly this Niebuhr-related article tied it all together. His place in the grand order of things suddenly made sense.

27 May 2017

Air Force One: Hollywood Lies and Regime Propaganda

Even though the movie came out some twenty years ago, I had never seen it before. It was pretty much what I expected but actually the more I brooded on it, I became angry.
Many will remember the angst of the 1990's as the US and its entertainment industry sought new enemies. The fall of the USSR had eliminated the old stand-by 'bad guy'. The Serbs just couldn't quite fulfill that role.

25 May 2017

Asian Perspectives: South Korea's Generational Shift and the Life Ethic of China's Underground

This article was interesting if spiritually speaking a little disappointing. Christianity in South Korea is complex as its somewhat brief history. On the one hand it's good to see some questioning the 'conservative' political bent and the corruption inherent within the Mega-Church model and yet like so many reactions in American culture... the response can sometimes be just as bad.

23 May 2017

21 May 2017

Rouhani and Trump

I caught a few minutes of Trump's Saudi Arabia speech this morning and I thought it unfortunate. By lambasting Iran he (consciously or not) places Rouhani in a difficult situation.

18 May 2017

Fatima Veneration as Adiaphora: John Paul II and Evangelicals

John Paul II took up the office of Pope during the waning years of the Cold War. As the Christian Right sought to expand its political and cultural influence they found common cause with the Polish Pope who seemed to stand for conservative cultural values and was an ally in the war against the Soviets and Communism.
In other words, John Paul II was a bridge between the Evangelical and Roman Catholic worlds.

15 May 2017

DeMint and Heritage

If Heritage is indeed going to be 'torn apart' by this 'coup' against PCA member Jim DeMint, then I say tear away.
Heritage has been a force for evil, virtually writing the policy of the Reagan, Bush II and now Trump administrations. This 'think-tank' and its operatives have helped to implement policies of economic exploitation and warmongering. From Latin America to Africa and Asia, it was Heritage and the people within its orbit that helped unleash a stream of violent paramilitary and terrorist actions that still reverberate across the world.
Politics over research? Research? Propaganda is more like it. Heritage has churned out an endless stream of statistical manipulations, revisionist history and outright lies. Heritage has never been one to do research with an objective aim. The bias is built in. This is the nature of think-tanks. They're not to be trusted.

The EU's Sham Concerns for Religious Freedom

These sorts of initiatives cannot but make one groan. It is but another case of blind bureaucrats addressing issues far beyond their ken. The EU is actually quite hostile to religious minorities nor do its leaders grasp what religious life is. The growing hostility to homeschooling in Germany and Scandinavia are prime examples of this. You can attend worship services, though increasingly what you say in them is under scrutiny but the idea that you would live out your faith is... increasingly verboten.

11 May 2017

Police Protection for the Church: Evangelicals, America and Guns

A Church, a Church-affiliated campus, with a police force? Why the controversy?
This move by an Alabama PCA is hardly surprising and will even be praised by many. Not a few Evangelicals are confused as to why this would even be an issue. It's normal for colleges and universities to have police forces, so what's the big deal? Why are people so bothered by this?

The United Methodist Church is Apostate

I continue to encounter United Methodists who pretend their domination is still somehow 'conservative' or has the possibility of being steered back in that direction. Just because the denomination hasn't officially endorsed homosexuality (even though it really has) doesn't mean that they don't accept it. The same is true for most Evangelicals. Even though they continue to largely reject homosexual conduct in accepting homosexuality as a valid 'orientation' they have already lost the argument.

05 May 2017

Suu Kyi: An Inspirational Let-Down

Ang San Suu Kyi inspired a generation of human rights activists through her long struggle with the ruling junta of Myanmar/Burma. Suffering years of house arrest, all but abandoning her family for the sake of the cause, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991 and seemed in recent years to be finally vindicated. Freed from arrest she now sits in a position of political power.

01 May 2017

Erdogan's Byzantine Tactics

Turkey continues to move away from the West. While still ostensibly a member of NATO it is clear the EU accession project is now dead. In many ways Ankara is moving toward the Moscow orbit, itself a great coup in terms of modern geopolitics.

29 April 2017

The Plight of Christians in Laos

This is a heartbreaking story but one that we need to hear and follow. There is perhaps another story here... a growing nationalist/Sacralist tendency within Theravada Buddhism. We've already seen it in Sri Lanka but it's definitely on the rise in places like Burma, Thailand and indeed Laos.

27 April 2017

Americans Cashing In: Uganda's For Profit Schools

I've heard quite a few Christians advocate this model for the United States. They believe that if parents had some investment in their children's schooling they would be more pro-active in managing their conduct and making sure they take time to study etc.

24 April 2017

Bulgaria: Parliamentary Coalitions and Potential Dangers

This is the means by which some of the Far-Right and fringe parties are able to enter government. Under the parliamentary system (which I still think is better than the US model) a party who wins the election without a clear majority must form a coalition government.

20 April 2017

Violence in Context

Prashad is always interesting. I was first introduced to him on Democracy Now! I find his writings scattered here and there and he's always worth a read.
While certainly not a Christian, he is nevertheless insightful. This piece exposes the dual logic and ethics at work in how violence is perceived in the West.

19 April 2017

Theresa May's Gamble

I must say Theresa May has left everyone a bit shocked and there's a scramble on the part of pundits and commentators in attempting to interpret her actions.
Obviously frustrated, May wants to strengthen her hand which at the moment is hindered by divisions within the UK political Establishment. The Brexit negotiations are proving very complicated and difficult. The attempt to form an even closer alliance with Washington has proven dubious and has not strengthened London's hand when it comes to dealings with the Continent.

16 April 2017

Spanish Evangelicals and Reformation Reflections

I'm afraid this article coming out of Spain is just more rubbish from some of the Lausanne-affiliated groups.
They misrepresent Luther and his focus on the Gospel. It's a stunt but one that will get them some media attention in this anniversary year.

11 April 2017

Bucer's Magisterial Reformation: The Social Gospel of Sacralism

https://calvinistinternational.com/2016/11/28/bucer-civil-education/

When one hears about educators, educational reform and the push for compulsory universal public education one might be tempted to think about the Progressive Era or in Christian circles the advocates of Social Gospel.

And yet this impulse while tempered, to some degree secularised and certainly affected by the age of industry was no novelty. The idea of compulsion and a push toward an engineered uniform society is as old as Babel. The Reformation is often touted and celebrated as the foundation of modern Western Civilisation, the genesis of human rights and modern representative democracy, its reality and legacy are in fact more complicated.