Luther and the Third Use of the Law

A Rose by Any Other Name

There has long been an attempt (by some) in Academia to attempt to create a breach between Luther and the Book of Concord; this attempt employs several tactics, or lines of argument, but the most common is the contention that Luther never employed the Third Use of the Law — a contention that is readily proven false. However, some more crafty academics will argue that Luther never employed the concept of the Third Use of the Law instead of simply arguing that he never employed the Third Use at all; this is more savvy, but the end goal appears (often, anyway) to be the same — the creation of a supposed breach between the Book of Concord and Luther (in this case, through outright sophistry, incidentally). Let us take these two positions in turn:

Continue reading
Posted in Christianity, Religion, Theology | Tagged | Leave a comment

It Is Not That the Left Are Hypocrites

It Is That You Are a Moron

If I were your best friend and I invited you to dinner, and, then, in the middle of the dessert course, produced a crossbow from its concealment under the table and shot you square in the chest, it would be unreasonable to call you a fool for accepting my invitation. On the other hand, if your most inveterate enemy invited you to dinner, and expressed, alongside such invitation, a desire to murder you, you could reasonably be called a fool for accepting the invitation when, during the appetizer course, he produces a knife, clambers over the table, and stabs you square in the face. In the first case, you did not deserve your fate; in the second, you more or less did.

Continue reading
Posted in Democracy, Leftism, Politics, Rightism | Leave a comment

A Patch of Cloth for Caesar

On Faithlessness, Cowardice, and Complicity

For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God[.]

We are told, ad nauseam, that those in and from the East are more willing to wear masks; further, we are told that this is due to a sort of social responsibility — a focus on the community instead of a focus on the individual (supposedly contra and contrasted with the West). It is true that Easterners are more willing to wear face masks, but this is the only true claim in the lot. Easterners do not wear face masks due to a focus on the community or society; the West is not so individualistic as some would claim; and face masks are most certainly neither a matter of social responsibility nor a matter of loving one’s neighbor or pursuing the greater good.

Continue reading
Posted in Christianity, Culture, Front Page, Law, Natural Law, Politics, Positive Law, Religion, Theology, Totalitarianism | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The World Is a Stage

Nations Are Actors

When he leaves the stage, the actor and the character alike cease to be; outside the script, there exists neither actor nor character. On the stage and within the script, the actor becomes the character, but the does not thereby cease to be himself. The character is clothing; the actor is essence. Although the actor — as a man — does not cease to be when he leaves the stage, the actor qua actor does. There are no actors outside the stage.

Continue reading
Posted in Myth, Nationalism, Philosophy, Politics | Leave a comment

Of Pills, Pride, and Pricks

I would be astounded by the idiocy on proud display these days, if I were any longer capable of having anything but the lowest expectations for the mass of humanity. I consider it a good day when you people don’t set something important on fire. And yet, even so, the foolishness presently on offer is something quite nearly in a class all its own.

Continue reading
Posted in Front Page, Healthcare, Politics | Leave a comment

Libertarianism and Christianity

Against the Cry of Cain

I am not a Libertarian. I have never been a Libertarian. I will never be a Libertarian.

It is not that I am insufficiently familiar with Libertarian thought or that I am familiar only with the antics of such unserious actors as the US Libertarian Party; rather, I am only too familiar with Libertarian thought, as it has become more or less, the only (supposedly) right-of-center thought that may be allowed some hearing on campuses (among other places), although typically only when the topic is (a lack of) morality. If I never again hear ‘the conservative case for [immoral or anarchic policy proposal here]’, it will still be too soon. However, I am not setting out here to offer a comprehension critique of Libertarian thought (I believe that contact with reality has already done a sufficient job of that); instead, I wish to argue that Libertarian thought is incompatible with Christianity.

Continue reading
Posted in Front Page | Leave a comment

The Holocaust Is Irrelevant

Okay, fine: The title of this article is (a little) hyperbolic, but hear me out. Do you know how many died in the Mongol conquests? How many fell at the Siege of Vienna? How many lives did the Battle of Gettysburg Claim? Sure, some will object that these are rather old events1. Fine: How many died in the Korean War?

Continue reading
Posted in Politics, Sociology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Whence Cometh Evil?

Universalism and the Source of Evil

There are many critiques I could advance against That All Shall Be Saved (hereafter, “TASBS”) — perhaps a dozen or so, at least if my audience were wholly Protestant (and at least a dozen more if my audience were Lutheran) — but I have found, in contemplating the book, that I believe a better approach is to work within the framework constructed by Hart and advance — at least here and now — one critique. Like Wittgenstein in the Tractatus and Hart in TASBS, I am fully convinced of the soundness of what I am about to advance, and I do not believe that a refutation exists — or is even possible. I have selected this one critique for three reasons: 1) it operates within the bounds of the system Hart has construed; 2) I believe it will be convincing for all orthodox Christians, regardless of tradition or denomination; and 3) if sound, it works a total destruction of Hart’s argument. So, let us begin.

Continue reading
Posted in Christianity, Hell, Philosophy, Religion, Theology, Universalism | Tagged | Leave a comment

Behind the Mask

The Point Was Never Public Health

Now, of course, democracy is a fool’s errand and it inevitably empowers precisely those types of men who should never be anywhere near the levers of power, and, yet, seldom are those of us who have misgivings about democracy — directed both toward those who rule and those who theoretically select the members of the former class — presented with confirmation of so much of what we believe in a form so perfect as the ‘mandatory mask’ ‘laws’ now being enacted across the country (and even enforced in some places). At the very best, masks of the sort now in widespread use will somewhat slow transmission of various viruses (but, notably, not stop transmission of them); if the true goal were, as originally advanced, to ‘flatten the curse’, then, perhaps, masks would be a reasonable measure, but the current purpose of the masks, whether enforced by informal methods (e.g., peer pressure and shame [more accurately: harassment]) or formal methods (e.g., laws and fines), is removed far afield from any considerations of preventing the medical system from becoming overwhelmed. The present purpose of the masks is simply control, and I could scarcely think of a more appropriate symbolism.

Continue reading
Posted in Apple, Constitutional Law, Democracy, Facebook, First Amendment, Google, Law, Natural Law, Philosophy, Politics, Positive Law, Regulatory Law, Representative Governance, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Interest-Free Food, Medicine, and Hygiene Purchases

A Modest Proposal to Alleviate Some of the Financial Hardship from COVID-19

Let us get right down to the point: There is going to be a disparate impact of COVID-19 on the poor (and on small business owners, but that is a separate consideration). Some will undoubtedly find it difficult to pay their bills. We should absolutely not have any who go hungry because they have had their hours cut or their place of employment is closed due to the pandemic. Thankfully, there are many charities that will help to take up some of the slack; however, I would like to make a minor legal proposal to help address this and future pandemics:

Continue reading
Posted in Capitalism, Economics, Front Page, Healthcare, Law, Morality, Nationalism, Politics, Positive Law, Regulatory Law | Tagged | Leave a comment