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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.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Arrival of the New Evangelical Left (VI)


This is a photo taken at the "Beer Summit." Notice how SGT. Crowley is helping Dr. Gates down the stairs, while the President is totally unconcerned. The law enforcement officer is compassionate, while the President is unconcerned about his good friend.

Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action

At christiansandclimate.org, which is part of the “Evangelical Climate Initiative,” you can download a statement concerning one of the new “darlings” of the Evangelical Left: climate change or global warming. Apparently, the Evangelical Left finds the terms interchangeable. The signatories of the document on the web site, “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action,” believe that it’s high time for American evangelical Christian leaders “to offer a biblically based moral witness that can help shape public policy.” Commendable indeed. The signatories acknowledge that America is the most powerful nation on earth and that it should contribute to the well-being of the entire world. Again, commendable, but I’m not certain how we would go about doing that. Nevertheless, the wording is noble.

Among the signatories of this document are Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Jim Wallis, and Brian McLaren. One can easily detect the influence of the emergent contingent in this document in the second paragraph of the Preamble: “We are proud of the evangelical community’s long-standing commitment to the sanctity of human life. But we also offer moral witness in many venues and on many issues.” (Emphasis added.) This caveat, this qualifier is rapidly becoming one of the trademarks of the Evangelical Left: Yes we are concerned about abortion, but… We are concerned about abortion, but there are other pressing matters out there that need our attention as well. We are concerned about abortion, but we have no qualms about voting for a presidential candidate who has a 100% approval rating with NARAL and Planned Parenthood, just for starters. We are concerned about abortion, but we’ll support a universal health care bill that will include provisions for both abortion and euthanasia. We are concerned about abortion, but we will listen to the progressive secularist talking points memo when it comes to global warming/climate change. We are concerned about abortion, but we also believe that we can measure the temperature of the globe at any given moment. As we proceed in our examination of this evangelical “call to action,” it will become increasingly evident that the evangelical signatories are walking in lock step with the secularists on many unproved aspects of global warming/climate change, and, by their signatures and influence are leading many in their respective congregations and schools to follow suit. Like their progressive, secular counterparts, these evangelicals are acting as if global warming/climate change is an undisputed fact.

In order to get us started, I want to give an outline found on the web site entitled “For Concerned Citizens” and then move on to list and then comment upon the four “Claims” also contained in the main document.

For Concerned Citizens

The opening sentence in this section grabs the reader’s attention: “If you’re a committed Christian and you care about creation, we believe that addressing climate change is one of the most critical moral issues facing the church today.” Well, which Christian doesn’t want to be a committed one? Which Christian doesn’t want to care about creation? Which Christian doesn’t want to address one of the most critical moral issues facing the church today? This begs the question, of course, “Can you be a committed Christian, who cares about creation and not believe that climate change is an alarmist issue or even one of the most critical moral issues facing the Church today?” Well, you can ask that question, but these days expect getting yelled and screamed at by progressive secularists and leftwing Christians alike.

Are you not one of the faithful if, after studying the issue, you conclude that God is in control of weather and that we are not rushing headlong towards a climatology Armageddon? Can you be a committed Christian, who holds to the Creation Mandate issued to man by the Lord in Genesis 1:26-28 and be free to conclude that a great deal of the hype about climate change is just that: hype? Can you be a committed believer and think that much of what passes for “fact” regarding climate change is actually junk science? I’m just asking, and the reason I’m asking is because to many of us, this is not an issue where the debate is “over.” As Glenn Beck aptly noted, “‘The debate is over’ is a line that’s used only by those who realize they would never win a debate.”[1]

The “For Concerned Citizens” segment of the web site offers three items that will help us get on board with climate change as Christians: Learn, Pray, and Act. Let’s look at then in turn.

Learn

The signatories tell us that we can “Learn about the science behind global warming, and discover its impact on everyone, and especially on the poor and vulnerable abroad. There are some important domestic impacts as well.” For these folks, it is a foregone conclusion that there is irrefutable science behind the information we receive about global warming. Given the way the words “global warming” are inserted in this section, it seems that the signatories equate climate change and global warming. Dr. Roy Spencer, former climatologist with NASA reminds us to be careful because “What scientists claim to know about manmade global warming is based as much upon faith as it is upon knowledge.”[2] You don’t read that in the paper every day do you? The dirty little secret is that “The roots of the conflict over global warming go much deeper than a simple disagreement over what’s happening in the climate system.”[3] Yet, it seems at the outset that the Evangelical Left has bought into the notion that global warming is a fact, that it impacts everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable abroad. Oh yeah, there are some important domestic impacts as well. Really? What might they be? A couple of timely and pertinent examples would serve the domestic public well instead of the vagaries in this first point.

But back on point, which committed Christian would not be concerned about the negative impact of global warming, especially for the poor and vulnerable abroad? Honestly folks, the only thing that gets our attention more is when the government schools lie to us and say, “It’s for the children.” Anyway, to drive the point home, there is an accompanying photograph of a destitute mud hut with a thatched roof. Smoke is emanating from the open space that is door. What they don’t tell you is that the smoke is probably from the cow dung they’re burning in the hut because environmentalists have categorically refused to allow these poor and vulnerable abroad to use biotech. Instead, they’re required to use cow dung to cook their food because some environmentalists have voted and decided that it’s better than giving them sustainable energy. For example, in 2002, over 80,000 delegates flew into Johannesburg, South Africa for a World Summit on Sustainable Development. The only thing better would have been for them to have had a “beer summit” with the poor and vulnerable. The delegates struggled through the meetings, staying in five star hotels. At the end of this august “World Summit,” Kenyan James Shikwati quipped, “What gives the developed nations the right to make choices for the poor?” Good question.

One of the main problems is that environmentalists, “Using moralistic, yet blatantly dishonest slogans and pseudo-science, the environmental movement has digressed dangerously and has replaced some of the radical movements for social experimentation of the last century.”[4] An excellent book to show you the other side of user-friendly environmentalism is Paul Driessen’s Eco-Imperialism. Clearly, the signatories have not read, digested, or addressed Driessen’s arguments. But when you’re on a mission, those kinds of things (like reading) can be such a terrible nuisance. If you don’t believe me, just ask our elected officials. They’re discovering more and more reading, digesting, and addressing pertinent points in trillion dollar House and Senate bills can be such a downer.

Pray

Next, we’re informed that we can also “Pray for God to help us find effective, just, and compassionate solutions to the problem of climate change.” Okay. Fair enough. But are we certain that climate change is a problem that we can solve? That is a question that must be faced squarely and honestly. Climate change has been occurring since creation and, to date, man has done nothing about it, primarily because he is incapable of doing anything about it. “Wait,” an environmentalist alarmist screeches, “what about CO2!” What about it? Oh, I get it! Some actually think that we can do a lot about CO2, and that all the CO2 is manmade and man’s fault. Well, that’s simply not true, as will become evident in subsequent installments. Yes, it is a greenhouse gas, but so are nitrous oxides and methane. We’ll come back to this argument in a moment, but for now I just want to draw your attention to the concept of greenhouse gases.

Act

This is the third plank in this house of cards. In other words, get out and do something!! Equip yourself with the facts, or what passes among the greenie alarmists as facts—it’s all the same—, and the “impacts and basic science”—this might take a little while—then “do what you can in your life, household, church, community, and business.” Since this section is very imprecise, you might have to think a little. Recycle papers, cans, bottles, buy a Honda or Prius, use those nice government approved mercury filled light bulbs that require a HazMat team and about $2,000 in costs if you drop one and break it—you know, unlike the old incandescent bulbs you use now, get your church to offer non-CO2 yoga classes, and if you own your own business, cave like BP did to environmentalists’ pressure and lobbyists. If you own cattle and sheep, convince them to stop belching and passing gas. Yep. I’m not making this up. Now not only man is a huge problem for the environmentalists, but so are cattle and sheep that are constantly belching and ridding themselves of their flatulence. That throws all kinds of methane gas (remember: greenhouse gases) into the air. Maybe there’s a market for cattle and sheep Bean-o.

Then, the signatories suggest that we contact our elected representatives. There you go! Have you tried that lately? Haven’t you seen just how eager your elected and appointed officials are to talk to you? If you call one of these prima donnas, you’re treated like an inconvenient truth. You are wasting their precious time. Oh, yes, by all means call your elected representatives. That will help enormously.

Did you hear that Senator Dick Durbin accused many of those attending the townhall meetings concerning universal health care as “plants” brought there by insurance companies? Have you noticed the looks of disdain and bewilderment on the faces of our elected representatives at those meetings? They’re flabbergasted; flummoxed. Some have resorted to calling the law-abiding citizens a “mob.” Yep. It sounds like they want to hear from us all right. The media is rounding the attendance numbers at these meetings way down. If 10,000 show up, they report 200. That’s right. You really don’t exist anymore. So to the deep philosophical question: Do I exist? The answer from many politicians is a resounding No! Why do they do that? It’s because the media is, by and large, comprised of leftwing, ideological hacks. To add to the lunacy, our evangelical leaders, committed to the care of creation and for the poor and vulnerable abroad believe that by our actions there can be “an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.” Common sense has left the building. These leaders do not even entertain the possibility that if we stopped breathing and took every car off the roads we could not reduce greenhouse emissions (methane, nitrous oxides, and CO2) by anywhere near 80%.

The 4 “Claims” of the Evangelical Climate Initiative

We’re running out of time for this installment, but before I go, I want to give you the 4 “claims” and then we’ll come back to each of them in our next issues.

Claim 1: Human-Induced Climate Change is Real.

Claim 2: The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest.

Claim 3: Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response on the Climate Change Problem.

Claim 4: The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change—starting now.

Don’t ask me why there was a change in capitalization in these claims in the document. My guess would be that it was the product of global warming.



[1] Glenn Beck, Common Sense, (NY: Threshold Editions, 2009), p. 17.

[2] Roy Spencer, Climate Confusion, (NY: Encounter Books, 2008), p. 85.

[3] Ibid., 86.

[4] Michael Economides & Ronald Oligney, The Color of Oil, (Round Oak Publishing Co., 2000), p. 141.



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25 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

Tsk, tsk, you haven't learned the updated Dear Leader Urkle's Newspeak. It's not global warming or climate change anymore it's CLIMATE JUSTICE. Doubleplusungood Dr. Ron. :)

6:20 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Susan,
Thank you so much for the correction! Climate justice, huh? I wonder if we'll ever get climate justice for clunkers? This would, of course, fit into their semantic silliness. I wonder when the Evangelical Left will pick up on this and mimic their progressive secular counterparts?

8:18 AM  
Blogger sister said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:06 AM  
Blogger randy buist said...

thanks for your respect for your Commander in Chief Private Ron. love your biblical references in this post!

7:21 AM  
Blogger randy buist said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
Given your extensive knowledge of the military, I am certain that you understand respect for the office, while disagreeing with the orders, right?
I was not a private, trooper, although like a leader should, I went through the training the private had to endure.
The biblical references are forthcoming.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Solameanie said...

Ron, I think you ought to challenge Randy to a debate, and have it videoed. I think it would be hysterical.

However, I doubt that he'd do it. It's easier to snipe and heckle from the sidelines than it is to actually engage a subject.

7:08 PM  
Blogger randy buist said...

K Ron,
You seem to think that the private sector cares more for God's creation than our govt. could ever do. One simple question: Do you think Wal-mart or any other large corporation asks, "Who is my neighbor?" and then proceeds to make board decisions on what is best for either their employees or the physical well-being of our world?

8:24 PM  
Blogger randy buist said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:24 PM  
Blogger sister said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:43 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Solameanie,

I'll hold the camera.

I'll have to hold it at a 45 degree angle, though... so we can have both of their faces in the frame at the same time.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Bradley said...

Randy,
Since you seem to dislike WalMart so much, I thought you might like this article from MSNBC:

Wal-Mart keeps spot as top corporate charity
Seeking to blunt criticism, firm says it gave more than $272 million in 2006
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17803920/

Granted, the information is 2 years old but it's the most recent I could find.

Recipients of the Evil Wal Mart Totally Self Serving Corporate Donations are included in this quote:
"Wal-Mart said U.S. donations went to organizations including the National Teacher of the Year program, hospital aid group Children’s Miracle Network, the Salvation Army, United Way and food bank America’s Second Harvest.

Wal-Mart said the majority of donations are made at the local level by its 4,000 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores to charities they pick.

“Supporting our local communities is at the very heart of Wal-Mart’s corporate giving philosophy. Our stores and clubs are empowered to support the issues and causes that are important to their neighborhoods,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Shannon Frederick said."

I have no idea what "living into the kingdom" means but it would seem Wal Mart is doing it to the tune of about $270,000,000 more dollars than you and I put together.

The big difference I see is nobody is putting a gun against their head when they do so. By virtue of its police power, .gov charity is ALWAYS coercive.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
What in the world makes you think that the government of all entities cares about who my neighbor is? Given the rank ridicule coming from Pelosi, our current government considers us a mob carrying swastikas and those are their own descriptions.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Sister, Brother, Neuter,
Just to set the record straight, I know quite a few people in law enforcement and they don't have to be prodded or told to act civilly and decently towards their elders.
No, I'm not gullible, having been around the block a few times, but I do live in America and not Canada, where events like you describe surely do happen.
Thanks for your input, but since it's my blog, I can pretty well figure out what I want to write.
I spoke with Dr. Roy Spencer today and he said to tell you hi, and that you probably think he is a silly old man too, but he actually has bona fide reasons for changing his mind. He thinks of it as intellectual honesty. Maybe someday he'll contact you and you can tell him what he should have done or said.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Sister, Brother, Neuter,
Okay, the disrespect has reached a point that it should be embarrassing to you, but I rather doubt that it is. For my generation this kind of anonymity and clear disrespect was unheard of. One of my mentors, Dr. Roger Nicole, is now almost 94 years, and I'm 64. It never crosses my mind to call him Roger, but that might very difficult for someone who was clearly brought up in the CanRef environment when behind the back disrespect was the "modus operandi."
So, here are the stipulations. First, you come on this blog site and let everyone know who you are. Even old Randy isn't afraid to do that.
Second, the moment I find you disrespectful you are gone permanently. No one forces you to come on here and you don't have to agree with what I say. This may come as a surprise or shock, but I'm not at all interested in your views of Roy Spencer. He happens to be a very competent and well-recognized scholar. Plus, he's a fine Christian man.
So that's the deal. Let me know what you're going to do and let me know quickly.

1:13 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Silly old man,

I really hit a nerve, didn't I?

There was nothing - not a thing - disrespectful in what I wrote. It was true. It is not disrespectful just because you don't like to hear it.

Notice how none of the usual group sprang to your defense this time? You presented a description of the picture as truth, when it was clearly not. It was clearly the wrong thing to do.

In case you don't want to take my word for it have a look: White House Blog photo

Speaking of respect: it's a two way street. You have never shown me an ounce of respect, from the very first time I disagreed with you. You can't even address me without disresepecting me ("sister, brother, neuter" has no purpose but provocation). You have returned my requests for discussion with petty pokes and prods. You have returned deference with disdain.

YOU can make this relationship constructive. Start by admitting your mistake, and due respect will be forthcoming. Until then, I will continue to call 'em as I see 'em, and no amount of chest-puffing and dust-kicking will scare me off. And that's not a lie.

4:23 PM  
Blogger wordsmith said...

You call him "silly old man," (repeatedly, in fact) and then turn around and claim "There was nothing - not a thing - disrespectful in what I wrote."

Don't you see the incongruity there?

It's as plain as day to the rest of us

7:18 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Hi wordsmith,

Actually, congruity is entirely the point.

See, Rattlesnake demands respect, but is disinclined to reciprocate. He started calling me "brother, sister, neuter" for no reason except to provoke me.

"Silly old man" is a measured response, intended to display the futility of his silly attempt at provocation.

He really has been acting silly when it comes to me... and he is old.

Honestly, if I was really trying to be offensive, I could have come up with something offensive... but that's not the point.

I'm sorry you missed the pith, but I'm glad you asked.

I'm left wondering, though: who is "the rest of us"?

9:31 PM  
Blogger wordsmith said...

I didn't miss the "pith" - you complain about respect yet you are unwilling to grant it to others. You attempt to use the splinter you perceive in Dr. Gleason's eye as justification for avoiding the plank in your own.

That is termed "incongruity," among other things.

7:15 AM  
Blogger sister said...

Then, again, you missed the pith, wordsmith.

It wasn't me who started "complaining" about respect. Scroll up a bit if you're unsure.

Correction (telling someone they're wrong) is not tantamount to disrespect. Impoliteness is not tantamount to disrespect. Criticism is not tantamount to disrespect. Indignation is not tantamount to disrespect. In fact, there is a nearly infinite list of abrasive behaviours that are not tantamount to disrespect.

Have a look at some of the previous comment pages (and this one). It's all archived.

I understand what you're getting at, but please... before you start commentating on our respective splinters and planks, take a step back and objectively measure where those splinters and planks should be observed.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Jim W said...

Sister, since you've been commenting on here, you have managed to define "shrew". If anyone reading your posts ever wondered what a shrewish person is, you have settled the question. For a rather short while, you were reasonable and conversed very intelligently. But...you have reverted back to the shrill, harpy nagging that sounds more like fingernails on a blackboard. You are so anxious to point out everyone's wrongs (whatever they may be; misunderstanding, perceived tone, different understanding from yours) that no one is taking you seriously anymore.

4:50 PM  
Blogger sister said...

You know, Jim, I don't mind defending my actions when wordsmith respectfully asks me to explain myself.

But when grumpy troll-like insults are hurled anonymously from among the herd without any defensible specifics, I'm not particularly impressed.

Telling someone they're wrong, and why, is not equal to the childish and cowardly act of calling someone "shrewish" without justification.

So if you want to point out, in particular, what part of my assessment of rattlesnake's behaviour is wrong (without the misogynistic overtone), please feel free to criticize. But until then, I'm not at all motivated, and...

Yawn! I'm not intimidated, either.

8:21 PM  
Blogger sister said...

Come to think of it, Jim W, you haven't brought anything substantial to the discussion at all, in a very long time.

In fact, I can't find anything in the last 3 months of archived comments that contribute anything other than scathing insults addressed to people who disagree with rattlesnake (but mostly Randy).


Let's review, shall we?

August 21, 2009

Jim W said...
"Sister, since you've been commenting on here, you have managed to define "shrew". If anyone reading your posts ever wondered what a shrewish person is, you have settled the question. For a rather short while, you were reasonable and conversed very intelligently. But...you have reverted back to the shrill, harpy nagging that sounds more like fingernails on a blackboard. You are so anxious to point out everyone's wrongs (whatever they may be; misunderstanding, perceived tone, different understanding from yours) that no one is taking you seriously anymore."


July 30, 2009

Jim W said...
"To tag on a bit with Joel's post: Blue Cross is running an ad campaign in my area (maybe in others as well) that tries to get people up and moving to lose weight. They say cavemen had no cars, no escalators and no love handles. Implication being that because they didn't have these modern conveniences, they were much healthier. Too bad the ad doesn't mention that everyday was a struggle for survival and that primitive man was lucky to live to their teens. That ad is just as dishonest as Randy. Maybe he's an ad-writer?"

Jim W said...
"No Randy, you're probably not actually dishonest, at least not intentionally. You are intellectually dishonest, though. You have yourself so deceived by your liberal agenda that the real irony becomes the fact that you keep putting the creation ahead of the Creator."

Jim W said...
"And once again, Randy delivers one of his patented, supremely well crafted (not) arguments. Once again, Randy doesn't just use a straw man argument-he burns the scarecrow! Oh, to be so blind."


July 9, 2009

Jim W said...
"Someday, Randy will engage an argument with actual facts and not tired rhetoric about his two most hated people (most hated regardless of the topic at hand; they will be mentioned just to ensure we're all well aware of his hatred, and that they're not "REAL CHRISTIANS", as opposed to Christ-follower, like Randy) and I will be able to die a happy (and verrrrry old) man. Anybody taking any odds on me dieing old and happy?"


May 28, 2009

Jim W said...
"Are you really that stupid, Randy? And yes, I do mean to be just as harsh as that sounds. Out of all the stupid things I've seen you write, that pretty much takes the grand prize. I won't even bother trying to show the evidence of how wrong you are. It would take too long. Besides, you have proven to be utterly blind to facts."

Interesting. Very interesting indeed. Are you an online alter ego... or it just appears that way?

10:15 PM  
Blogger Jim W said...

Sorry, Sister, pointing out my faults doesn't improve or negate yours. In fact, trying to prove others are equally bad just makes you look vindictive. For all your supposed education and learning, you're still a shrew.
And now, since this "conversation" has gone way off into left field, I'll let you ponder the truth of what I've said. Nothing more from me on this subject. Sorry, Dr. Gleason, for letting this fo-de-rol go on.

6:38 AM  
Blogger sister said...

"Sorry, Sister, pointing out my faults doesn't improve or negate yours."

Are you familiar with the word "hypocrisy" Jim W? "Pointing out faults," as you so eloquently put it, seems to be the only thing you're capable of in this forum.

Of course you're done here, because you've got nothing to contribute but unsubstantiated criticism and petty name-calling. If you've been paying any attention at all, you'll have noticed that you're in short company there... even at the height of rhetoric, there are very few people here who will resort to calling names to make a point. So what else ya got? Anything good?

By the way, anonymous internet bravado types aren't allowed here... or is that only if they don't toe the party line?

6:58 AM  

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