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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ron's New Book

My new book is now available and can be ordered on line at As the title states, it deals with the question of capital punishment from a biblical perspective.



Blogger wordsmith said...

Are you sure about the web address of that publisher? It brings me to a Norwegian page for a weapons distributor.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

This is it:

Congratulations. It looks interesting. I lean more toward the anti-death penalty side for the sheer argument of all life is sacred. I've never pushed it further than that. I would love to read both sides of this debate.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

What's wrong with a Norwegian weapons distributor? Yumping Yiminy!

Thanks for the clarification. I have a section in the book that asks the question whether the Bible demands an "absolute" value of life. Enjoy.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Looks like we might have to do a radio interview, Ron!

8:02 PM  
Blogger Castleman said...

This looks like an interesting book. I will have to pick it up.

I have been pondering this question for sometime now, and I am torn between Bahnsen's view of capital punishment, and the opposing view from the natural law types.

What do you think? Do we use God's Law in society? Or do we use natural law arguments?

5:11 AM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

I prefer the Romans 13 standard. The state doesn't bear the sword for nothing, and you don't use a sword to administer spankings, unless you're in the French armed forces.

Just kidding. Sort of.

12:14 PM  
Blogger sister said...


Please be assured that you will not hear both sides of the debate in this book. Ron has made his position on this subject very clear, but he still hasn't been able to convince me that it's the right one.

I'll be reading this book to see if he has been able to come up with some answers to the questions I've challenged him with, but to which he has not yet responded.

3:08 PM  
Blogger sister said...


Please be assured that you will not hear both sides of the debate in this book. Ron has made his position on this subject very clear, but he still hasn't been able to convince me that it's the right one.

I'll be reading this book to see if he has been able to come up with some answers to the questions I've challenged him with, but to which he has not yet responded.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Castleman said...


What is the question you are asking Ron about this subject matter?

3:43 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Since I have no idea who you are, I have no recollection of questions you asked me about capital punishment--either in a previous life or this one.
It is rather amazing that you have not read the book but are convinced that no one will hear the other side.

Just for fun, here are the words of the assistant director of The Citadel's Gift Shop. I have never met the man, but did send him a copy. What he says pretty much summarizes the endorsements by people almost as educated and informed as you.

"This book rigorously examines the controversy over the death penalty with clarity and cogency. After Dr. Ron Gleason lays a thorough groundwork in history and law, he defines ethics philosophically, and then presents the Biblical mandate. For the secular reader, he illustrates the positions of leading thinkers on both sides of the issue and examines their arguments down to the foundational premises. For Christians–both for and against capital punishment, Dr. Gleason identifies the governing Scriptures and illustrates them with commentary from the confessional statements of the historic reformed church and some of the foremost voices in the church today. Proponents on both sides will find the issues in focus and the arguments framed for more meaningful discussion."

Don't prejudices distort us sometimes?

1:09 PM  
Blogger sister said...


Thanks for asking.

At first, I expected you to be able to find the answer to this question yourself, because the questions were openly asked in previous comments from Ron's blog. Then I remembered that you couldn't... because Ron deleted them (well, mostly) rather than answer them. He pretended it was because I didn't honour his request to communicate with him outside of this forum, however the truth is that I provided an email address for him which he never used, but summarily deleted. I think he even banned me by ip... but he doesn't know what a proxy server is, so how could he know that I always use one?

I was disappointed, but I kinda understood. When I started coming here, I had a confrontational demeanor. I was rife with sarcasm. This place reeked with rhetoric (wouldja believe it?). I just thought I was fitting in, but when when it was pointed out to me (thanks solameanie) that my behaviour wasn't as endearing as I thought it was, I tried another, more respectful approach. I let him know when I think he's right, and I let him know when I think he's wrong, and I try not to get too worked up in any way. I try to be respectful (hey... at least I'm trying!!!) but honest, even when I know he won't like what I have to say. He hasn't quite caught on to that yet, and apparently still feels threatened by me (as evidenced by the stinging rebuke administered for my spelling errors, etc.).

And he hasn't caught on that I'm not intimidated by his tail-rattling.

Sorry for digressing...

Several questions were asked. Some were answered, some were partially answered, most went unheeded.

In this thread, he responded to my question about the "innocent party" argument by saying:

"In Deut. 17:8-13 we are given an outline as to how cases are to be adjudicated. These guidelines do not require infallibility, but rather careful study. The verdict is then handed down."

Essentially, his answer is that God commands us to bring unsolvable cases to the Levites, whom God chose to deliberate and deliver a verdict. Errors are possible, but it's ok because it's sanctioned by God.

Question #1 was, basically: How do you equate our modern secular judges and juries (of your peers), in our modern secular courts, with the high priests who had shown themselves faithful and obedient enough to God to be DIRECTLY chosen by him for such responsibilities.

Granted, it's a difficult question to answer; especially when you're quoted as saying (only eight days earlier):

"Is one of the qualifications for judge in CA today that you have to have and IQ in single digits and a commonsense quotient that is actually negative?

Then that leads to another question: should the responsibility for deliberation and delivery of justice be left to the modern priests? (I, for one, know that Ron isn't well enough equipped to figure out who ate the last butter croissant from the bag on top of the fridge, so I wouldn't be too eager to leave the responsibility with him...)

Bewildering, isn't it? Like I said, I'll be reading it to see if he has some answers now.

4:30 PM  
Blogger sister said...


Since you have no idea who I am, but you feel comfortable enough to comment about how educated and informed I am... Don't prejudices distort us sometimes? I Guess you're right, brother.

I choose to remain anonymous in this forum because I don't wish to make myself vulnerable. It's not unreasonable, and it's not cowardly.

I don't hold a grudge against the guy who ran me over in his car... but I quit jaywalking. Know what I mean? Welcome to the internet, where even people without combat training can still have an opinion.

My anonymity doesn't make what I have to say any less relevant, or any less true.

Here it is:

Since you have made your position about Capital Punishment so well known, and since you have made it so well known that you are completely confident and that you will not be convinced otherwise, I am, in turn, convinced that you have not effectively presented the argument from the opposing side of the debate.

If, after I've read the book, I find out that I'm wrong, I'll not only identify myself, but I'll post my name, address, phone number, occupation, photograph and frequent locations.

Now, be nice, or I'll go to the library to get my copy.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

For the record, Blogger doesn't allow banning by IP. You can do that at other blog hosts, but not here. You're stuck with deleting the posts.

Sister, you and I have been getting along reasonably well of late, which satisfies me just fine. So I hope you won't mind if I interject myself in this discussion. For my own information, please tell me why you think the death penalty is unbiblical. And I will respond with why I think it is.

I have Ron's book on order, so I haven't read it yet. But I do have a strong suspicion that I will agree with him.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

You're right. I do not know what a proxy server is. Do I need that to witness? I'm willing to bet that you don't know how to use an azimuth indicator to set up a perimeter or what APDS stands for. Am I right? So what is your point?

9:02 AM  
Blogger sister said...

"I do not know what a proxy server is. Do I need that to witness?

Nope. Don't think so. But you DO need to know what it is if you threaten to ban someone (by ip).

"I'm willing to bet that you don't know how to use an azimuth indicator to set up a perimeter or what APDS stands for. Am I right?"So what is your point?

Well, you're half right. Since I own an azimuth indicator, and have basic trigonometry skils, I'm pretty sure I could manage to set up a perimeter, although I have never actually attempted to do so. And while "APDS" could stand for about a kajillion things, considering the context, is it safe to assume you're talking about armour piercing shells?

Am I right? Did I win a prize? How 'bout a free book? Can you sign it for me?

"So what is your point?

I think my point is pretty clear:

I believe it's pretty unrealistic to expect that you effectively presented an argument which, so far, you have refused to even consider.

Here's hoping that you bothered to try and answer some of these important and necessary questions in your new book.

4:13 PM  
Blogger sister said...

"... please tell me why you think the death penalty is unbiblical."

I'll have to get back to you on this one, meanie... after I've actually decided whether or not I do. I haven't been convinced either way yet.

One thing I'm sure of, though, is that rattlesnake's answer about the risk of sentencing an innocent person is insufficient, and that my requests for elaboration were ignored.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

It isn't a threat to ban. It's called: it's my blog site. Like it or not, not everyone thinks like Canada.
You own an azimuth indicator? Do you also own the tank that goes with it? There's no way you could even guess what APDS means. So you went to the Internet and then pretended like you've had an advance class in tank ammo. Phunny. But we did spend a lot of time in catechism talking about tank ammo and azimuth indicators, right?
You're right. I cannot present a cogent argument like you. I don't like my book either, but I like it a lot better than yours. Have a great weekend.

5:27 PM  
Blogger sister said...


A tank may require an azimuth indicator, but an azimuth indicator does not require a tank.

Azimuth indicators are used primarily for a wide array of civilian applications. I'm guessing that military uses are not even in the top 100. In fact, I'm delighted to inform you that an azimuth indicator was used in the manufacture of the computer that you just used to type that bosh.

A previous profession required it's use, so I should hope I know what one is! You should be able to confirm that on the internet, (unless your technological savvy was arrested when you left the service... what... how many years ago?).

It's easy to question one's honesty when you don't have any other substantial ammunition though, isn't it?

You can always tell when a rattlesnake feels cornered, cause they start to make a lot of noise before they start to spew venom. I'm disappointed that you've chosen to respond with a "nyah-nyah" retort instead of actually answering my concerns.

I hope you enjoy your weekend, as well, my dear, ignorant, sir.

7:59 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Just so we're clear:

Is that a "no" to the free copy, then?

8:14 PM  
Blogger sister said...

One more thing, rattlesnake:

When I see the words “azimuth” and “perimeter” together in the same sentence, the next logical step in the sequence is “shells.” It’s kind of like Wheel of Fortune, when all that’s missing is the vowels.
I come from a family with a long military tradition (in fact, an immediate family member was killed in a tank… my knowledge is intimate).

Also, just because I said one doesn’t need combat training to have an opinion, doesn’t mean I haven’t had combat training.

Because I am well versed in the operation, care, and maintenance of a C7, does that preclude me from knowing what an M16 is?

2:52 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Oh... will you ship to a P.O. box?

2:53 PM  
Blogger Heyman! said...

Having yet to read the book, here's my two cents worth.

It seems that 'sister's' concern is the death of the innocent. Which brings me to my point.

First, I am a proponent of the death penalty.

But, what do we do when the legal system becomes untrustworthy? If the legal system abandons Biblical principals to an extent that their judgments cannot be relied upon, then what?

One cannot base their argument on only one aspect of the legal system. The sentencing.

I believe the investigation and arrest, as well as the prosecution,defense and judgment phase must be error free also.

Otherwise we are placed in the uncomfortable position of the innocent wrongly being punished. Which, with the death penalty, cannot be reversed.

If God is unconcerned with the those who lose their life mistakenly, then there is a lot more we don't understand.

But, if you think about it, there are countless numbers of people who die by accident.

5:28 PM  

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