Monday, November 30, 2009

Concerning Evolution And The Global Warming Hoax

A little over a year ago,  I published a series of blog posts entitled "Exposing ExpelledExposed." (see the Links section of this blog)  It was an in depth examiniation of how the website ExpelledExposed, which is produced by the National Center For Science Education, attacked the reputations of those who appeared in Ben Stein's documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."  The website should be the place to go to see how Evolutionists in this country seek to totally distroy not only alternative theories to Darwinian Evolution but anyone within the scientific community who would publicly question Darwin.  Even if the particular dissenter from Darwinian orthodoxy is not a believer in the Biblical account of Creation, he or she will be attacked as plotting to sneak the teaching of religion into the class room.  While I was working on this series, I came across articles concerning a Creationist/Evolutionist controversy brewing in England at the time.  It concerned the proposal of Dr. Michael Reiss, an Anglican Clergyman, a professor of Science Education at the Institute of Education, London and Director of Education of The Royal Society. Reiss, a believer in the theory of Evolution, stated that his educational background taught him that it was counter productive to teach evolution in the classroom without examining the objections and doubts about Evolution by religious students. Reiss believed that not to address these concerns would cause these students to adopt an anti-science mentality which they would maintain permanently.  This is a statement from an article he published explaining his position:

"I feel that creationism is best seen by science teachers not as a misconception but as a world view.  The implication of this is that most science teachers can normally hope to achieve is to ensure that students with creationist beliefs understand the scientific position."

I decided to find out what happened to Reiss and his proposal. At first the Royal Society stood by him, but after the public outcry orchestrated by prominent Darwinians,  he was forced to resign after one week.  This course of events is similiar to what happened when Dr. Richard Sternberg made the editorial decision to publish a peer-reviewed paper by Dr. Stephen Meyer, which concerned Intelligent Design, in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.  At first there was no controversy, but then Darwinists in this country attacked Dr. Sternberg for his actions.  (see Richard Sternberg's website for an account of the controversy.  He was profiled in "Expelled" and vilified on ExpelledExposed.  Dr. Sternberg is not a creationist.)  Reiss did not endorse creationism or Intelligent Design, nor did he propose that they be given equal time in the class room.  But whether it is the National Center for Science Education in America or the British Humanist Association in the U.K., the Darwinist vanguard of the scientific establishment will not be satisfied unless anyone who proposes to be fair to other points of view are publicly punished for their "apostacy", even if they are not believers in Creationism or I.D.  Not long ago, I found out that the British Parliament was considering a bill to make the teaching of Evolution mandatory for students from the earliest grades on up.  This response by Evolutionists has to be an effect of the Reiss controversy. I make mention of the British Humanist Society because it is a major sponsor of the bill and the link to the story makes it clear that its members concern is to destroy religious influence among school age children.  Reiss' proposal was aimed at teens; this bill is aimed at prejudicing the minds of children against any alternative to evolution before they reach their teens. 

One of those who was featured in "Expelled" and who was attacked on the ExpelledExposed website was Dr. Caroline Crocker. I  wrote no articles on her for "Exposing ExpelledExposed" because I could find very little about her on the Internet.  She has now produced a website which can be found here.  Dr. Crocker's new book "Free To Think: Why Scientific Integrity Matters" will be published by Leafcutter Press in 2010.

Here is a three part article by Dr. Georgia Purdom writing for Answers In Genesis (Parts one, two and three) on how Darwinist's twist all branches of science in an attempt to prove Evolution's validity. 

From Cornelius Hunter concerning shifting the burden of proof onto Darwinian Evolution.

And if you have not heard, someone from inside the East Anglia Laboratories, a major source of Global Warming hysteria, has leaked e-mails from 13 years on back showing that man made Global Warming is a hoax and that these scientists know that.  I am sure that the leaker will face public persecution that is as great, if not worse, than those who have been attacked by Evolutionists.  As this link makes evident, scientists pushing Global Warming have learned from their evolutionary counterparts concerning distroying their enemies in the scientific community.  These scientists plan to mold the peer-review process to weed out any Global Warming sceptics from publishing in scientific journals.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stories Concerning America

Why is America so great?  Why listen to me when you can read this excellent blogpost from Cameron Buettel, an Austrailian living in Denmark.  I originally read this post on Gene Veith's blog.  On the other hand, you might check out this previous blogpost.

Here are two articles concerning our capitalist system that should be read by everybody. Both have great imortance to economic conservatives such as myself.  In "Greed is not Good and it is not Capitalism" the author refers to the sterotype that capitalism makes a virtue of greed rather than a system that recognizes greed as part of the makeup of human nature and seeks to minimize its impact.  Unfortunately some conservatives have bought into the sterotype and equate capitalism and greed because they are ignorant of Capitalism's historic tenents.  The second article is a review of a biography of Ayn Rand.  Some Conservatives are looking to her philosophy as an antidote to Obama policies.  Unfortunately Rand's brand of economics resembles Libertarianism rather than Conservatism in that Libertarians favor unfettered economic and personal freedom (including sexual freedom, many libertarians fought California's Proposition 8)  while true conservatives favor free market activity and human freedom guided by our Constitutional system.  Rand's, and Libertarian philosophy rejects religious faith.

A "politically correct" controversy that has failed to ignite.

Here is an example of intellectual disdain for Evangelical political activity from INSIDE the Church.  I normally enjoy reading this blog and have linked to it for a long time.  This is not this blogger's best moment.  (Note: To avoid confusion, I think the last item should have read "American Conservative Evangelical political activity" instead of just "Evangelical political activity." I would have changed the original language, but if I did so the comments may not be understood in their original context.  Despite my original lack of clarity, the remarks are still valid.)  

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday Night Frozen Dinner And An Intellectual: "The Politics Of Jesus" by John Howard Yoder. Part IV

Last night I finished John Howard Yoder's "The Politics of Jesus."  It was torture.  Normally when I write a negative book review, I try to be charitible.  My initial emotions of dislike rarely make it to the completed blog post.  Yet "The Politics of Jesus" is one of the worst books I have read in years.  The only reason I stuck with it is that it is considered a classic in some Christians' minds. Reading the final three chapters, I got tired of his imposition of his views on the Biblical text.  To repeat my criticisms would waste time; Parts I and II will provide you with criticisms that apply to the book as a whole.   My upcoming Friday evenings will cover "The State and the New Testament" by one of Yoder's teachers and "Christ the Meaning of History" by an author cited by Yoder.  I didn't know their connections before planning my reading.  If no review of these books appear here it is because I decided to move on.  After I finish with these two books, I am going to review four short books by N.T. Wright. 

Recent Articles Of Interest

On the House Church Movement in China.

Two great articles from Dr. Claude Mariottini's blog. (I have had difficulty creating a link to his blog.)  The first concerns whether B.C.E. and C.E. should replace B.C. and A.D. as the standard terms of dating historical and archeological artifacts.  The second concerns how we can learn from the ancient Jews in giving thanks for our meals.

Gene Veith's blog links to an Anglican's post as to why Conservative Anglicans should not join the Catholic Church.

A great response to Open Theism on the Wesleyan Arminian blog.

A great response to Atheism's charge that belief in God is responsible for all the world's evils at Arminian Today.  Atheist Christopher Hitchens writes of his experience debating Christian apologists.  Interesting reading.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pro Life And Other Cultural News Of Interest

Some good news on the pro life front.

A Judge's ruling that should be read by all pro choicers.

You have heard about the Director of a Planned Parenthood clinic who resigned after witnessing an abortion procedure and changing her mind concerning abortion?  It appears that the clinic is now suing her.

A link to first hand testimony concerning the evils of China's One child/family policy from a Christian.

The beliefs of all Christian health care providers are under assault.

Those pushing an agenda forcing the public at large to accept homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle are active here and overseas.  Now Evangelical Colleges are struggling with the issue.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Audio Impressions

Ronald Reagan on National (Socialized) Health Care. Though he was speaking in the early 60's, his arguments will never be out of date.

Dallas Willard speaking on being a morally responsible skeptic.  Dr. Willard points out that in our age the beginning premise in secular and religious matters is unbelief, in any discussion knowledge and certainty are looked down upon. (See a previous blogpost on this issue of certainty, )  Disbelief is now considered a virtue.  This makes it more difficult for leaders to guide institutions.  Yet Willard asserts that to disbelieve without knowledge or inquiry is just as consequential to all of us as to believe.  Therefore, those who reject knowledge and certainty must justify their unbelief as much as others are called upon to justify their belief.  To give an example not given in Willard's talk, the African country of Zambia had a famine a few years back.  The US developed grain to grow in Zambia's soil, but one person in France put it out that the grain was actually poisoned so to kill off Africans.  Despite the assurances of the US government, the government of Zambia chose not to believe the Western super-power.  The result is people died.  Unbelief is just as consequential as belief.  The talk can be heard here.

Athiest Christopher Hitchens debates Dinesh D'Souza and Frank Tureck.  Hitchens offers up no new arguements for his atheism (click the tab for Audio Impressions to listen to his previous debate with Tureck.)  His arguements consist of blaming belief in God for all the misery the world has experienced.  Tureck is able to argue from the scientific evidence that God does indeed exist while Hitchens mainly ignores the evidence.  D'Souza is a good debater, yet I think Tureck was more effective in his exchange with Hitchens.  D'Souza does not have the background that Tureck has in studying the scientific data. Tureck is also effective in his use of Scripture.  The debate with D'Souza can be heard here, the one with Tureck, here.  (The link for the Tureck debate is not available.  Therefore, go to the Apologetics315 website; you will find the Tureck debate on 9/18/09.  The D'Souza debate will be found on 10/14/09.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friday Night Frozen Dinner And An Intellectual: "The Politics Of Jesus" by John Howard Yoder. Part III

I'm going to go easier on John Howard Yoder's "The Politics of Jesus" this week.  Much of the criticisms I could make of last Friday night's reading would be repititious.  However, in the three chapters I read last Friday evening, Yoder articulates some theological positions worthy of our attention.

The first position is his view of worldly powers, particularly what Paul labeled as "principalities and powers" and "thrones and dominions." While in a footnote Yoder acknowledges that these could refer to evil supernatural forces, he focuses primarily upon social and political structures as what Paul was speaking of here.  While we could legitimately contest Yoder's emphasis, he's not entirely off the mark here.  In Yoder's considering of social structures as powers, he states that while these are fallen, they were originally part of God's plan for humanity before sin marred His creation; society, history, even nature itself would have been impossible without a regulatory system provided by power structures.  Now these structures seek to seperate us from the love of God and subject Man to servitude.  (Still, God in His providential sovereignty manages these structures for the good.)  Yoder cites William Stringfellow's "Free in Obedience" as influencing his views on this subject.  An example from Stringfellow's book as to how these structures operate to enslave:  you are an up and coming employee in a major business concern, the boss summons you for a private conference, he tells you that while the firm values your work, having too many children could be a hindrance to advancement.  It would not be out of bounds to attribute such pressure as the work of principalities or powers.  Yoder is not off the mark to include the pressure to control, even to enslave, as included in the Enemy's plan to enslave God's highest creation, Man.  Yoder criticizes some Christian traditions, such as the Lutheren tradition, which views all rebellion against these social and political structures as rebellion against God and God's order.  Instead of starting with Romans 13 when considering submission to authority, Yoder claims that the real starting point in considering submission is Philippians 2, in which Paul states that Christ on His own accord submitted to the Father in taking on the form of a man and dying for our sins.  All submission is voluntary: the wife submits voluntarily to the husband, the slave to the master.  Those that submit for the sake of Christ do so voluntarily, as free moral agents of equal worth to those who are submitted to.  The Christian response to tyannical powers is defensive, to refuse to be seduced by them.  It is Jesus who defeats the powers.  I suppose this is the origin of Yoder's theology of Christian pacifism.  I will include the scriptures Yoder cites on my study blog.

Yoder began "The Politics of Jesus" with a critique of those who believe that Jesus' orginal teachings had no bearing on contemporary social ethics.  Those who think thus believe Jesus believed the world would soon end.  When His followers realized this was not so, they had to borrow from another ethical systems, such as Stoicism.  However, Yoder does a masterful job in demonstrating the incompatibility of Stoic and Christian morality.  Stoicism urges Man to live up to his own nature; it addresses Man in his own dignity.  Furthermore, it aims its message at the dominant men in society, not those occupying the lowest rung.  The New Testament writers were the first to address the lowliest of society as free moral agents with a responsible ministry to the world.  The submission of wives, children and slaves was their moral choice with the purpose of witnessing to God.  Their submission was their choice, not a matter of fate.  In Stoicism there is no heart change, no expectation of reward.  Stoicism assumes that the man of society whom it addresses will always act right once he is aware of the right action to take.

In an earlier review, I noted that I know people who highly respect Yoder and "The Politics of Jesus" and that I found the book a disappointment.  I suspect that it is the arguements put forth in what I read last Friday night that  produces their enthusiasm.  Taken out of context of the entire book, there is great merit in what Yoder writes in this section.  Unfortunately, when I read the book as a whole, I cannot endorse it.

  I have sixty more pages to read.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Roger E. Olson on Arminian Theology

I have not had a chance to read Professor Roger E. Olson's book "Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities" and so I was glad to stumble upon two interviews of Olson at .  In these interviews he deals with the misconceptions of Arminianism that are the result of ignorance or misrepresentation.  He defends Arminianism against the charges that it is semi-pelagian; he correctly states that Arminians believe in total depravity, that humans are dead in trespass and sin and that the initiative in salvation is always God's.  Olson rejects the view that Charles Finney, a semi-pelagian, was in fact an Arminian. The starting point for Arminianism is not free will but the character of God; it has been the charge of Arminians against Calvinism that Calvinism makes God the author of evil.  Instead, God allows a reasoned involvement of Man, his highest creation, in history; God does not want us to be robots but be in a personal relationship with Him, a relationship that allows for disobedience on the part of man.  The Calvinist understanding of Predestination is rejected by Arminianism in favor of the Biblical view that God predestines those who will believe for salvation. Arminianism does not inevitibly lead to Open Theism as Calvinsts charge, but it shares Calvinists' view that God is totally sovereign. In fact, according to Olson, the enemy of Calvinism is not Arminianism, but the enemy of both is full blown Pelagianism. Professor Olson does disagree with John Wesley on Wesley's view of Christian Perfection, so that distinguishes him from those such as I who hold to that understanding of Scripture.  Olson describes himself as a Pietist and defends that venerable tradition from the charges that its adherents are "holier than thou" and anti-intellectual.  He describes Pietism as experiencing God in prayer and service.  You can hear these interviews here and here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Friday Night Frozen Dinner And An Intellectual: "The Politics Of Jesus" by John Howard Yoder. Part II

I read the next three chapters of John Howard Yoder's "The Politics of Jesus" last Friday evening.  Mercifully, it was a mere forty pages.  This coming Friday's installment will be twice as long.  While last week's reading was focused on Yoder's view of the Kingdom of God through the lense of his liberal economic views, the next three chapters dealt exclusively with Yoder's case for Christian pacifism. 

"It is a general rule of proper textual interpretation that a text should be read for what its author meant to say and what its first readers or hearers would have heard it say."  So says Yoder.  I have no problem with this rule of interpretation, remembering that this is not the exclusive method of determining a text's meaning.  Yoder states that when Christians consider the question whether God sanctions the use of force for defense, using the Old Testament for guidence, Christians approach the Old Testament in a legalistic manner, viewing the God-sanctioned battles fought by Israel as proof that God allows the use of force by armies for self defense.  Yoder points out that God preserved Israel from its enemies by various means.  Sometimes God ordered the people of Israel to attack, sometimes He told Israel to do nothing while God destroyed the enemy.  No matter how Israel was to act, in fighting or in doing nothing, God was trying to teach His chosen people that they were to totally rely on His strength and not on their own: "It had thus become a part of the standard devotional ritual of Israel to look over the nation's history as one miraculous preservation..."  So far, no disagreement from me.  However, Yoder goes on to claim that truly pious Israelites interpreted this history as God's will that the use of armed forces in defense of one's nation be is always the wrong course of action, signifying a lack of trust in God's power to preserve that nation.  Yoder claims that this is how Jesus interpreted Israel's history and this is how his hearers would have interpreted His message: "Jahweh is an alternative to the self-determining use of Israel's own military resources in the defense of their existence as God's people."  Yoder analyzes various scriptures to back up his point, yet  as pointed out last week, he imposes his own prejudices upon the text in determining a text's meaning. (Example: "The Kingdom of God is a social order and not a hidden one.)  His take on Israel's defeat of the Amalikites in Ex. 17 is that God did not want Israel to use military force.  But, according to Yoder, Moses was wearied by Israel's continued complaining and so, in his weariness and anger, ordered Israel into battle without seeking God's guidance.  Yes, there was another incident of Israel questioning Moses and God, but if one reads the text carefully, that issue was resolved before the battle and to postualte Moses's weariness for his actions and that these actions were contrary to God's will is to read one's own prefered interpretation into the text.  There is one major problem with Yoder's contention that Jesus' hearers correctly interpteted His message to be one of eschewing legitimate self-defense: the Gospels make it clear that Jesus' hearers did not understand His message.  That is why He spoke in parables.

 Sometimes Yoder is all over the map.  He began his book lamenting the view that Jesus was an apocolyptic figure, believing the world was about to end, and so was unconcerned about the question of social ethics.  This view of Jesus was popularized by Albert Schweitzer.  Yet Yoder praises Schweitzer for portraying Jesus as he really was (in Yoder's opinion), an apocolyptic figure.  In last week's reading Yoder claims that the Gospel was closely tied to the Zealot movement.  Elsewhere Yoder claims that the message of Christian pacifism disavowed the Zealots.

In reading "The Politics of Jesus", my reactions vary.  When I read such passages as this: "His (Jesus') disavowel of Peter's well-intentioned effort to defend him cannot be taken out of the realm of ethics by the explanation that he had to get himself immolated in order to satisfy the requirements of some metaphysically motivated doctrine of the atonement; it was because God's will for God's man in this world is that he should renounce legitimate defense", my reaction is two-fold.  I rhetorically ask Yoder, where in the world do you find such meanings in the text without you imposing such meanings yourself?  I also ask myself,  "Just how orthodox a Christian was Yoder?"  And what is my reaction when I read passages such as this? "The whole cosmos must be taken as the ultimate revelation of the dimensions of mankind: the Jesus of the Gospel stories is merely a bridge for the cultural isolation of Judaism of the world- encompassing acceptance of the giveness of history and mankind in the deutero-Pauline proclamation." Zzzzzz. ZZZZZzzzzzz.  ZzzzzzzzZzzzzzZZZZZ!!!! ZZZ, zzzz, z(zzzzz)zzZzzz[Z]: zzzzz.  ZZzZzzz? z!z!z!z!z!"zzzzzz?" ZZZZZZ! Z. {z.}

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 4th, 1979 And 9/11

You know you are getting old when adults younger than you have no memory of the historic events that formed you when you were a teenager.  You know you are getting even older when you meet adults not yet born when these earth shattering events occurred.  Thats how I feel when I meet people who have no memory of the Iranian Hostage Crisesthe Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, or the election of Ronald Reagan.  These same adults will understand how I feel when they begin to meet adults with no memory of 9/11.

Today, 11/4, marks the 30th anniversery of the storming of the American Embassy in Teheran and the beginning of the 444 day ordeal known as the Iranian Hostage Crises. It was a watershed moment in our country's history just as much as 9/11.

Remembering what it was like to live in America at that time, I would like to observe the difference between the public's reaction to both the Hostage Crises and 9/11.  Many political figures today portray a post 9/11 America under George W. Bush as a hostile place for political dissenters and those of Middle Eastern origin.  Yet the climate in this country after 9/11 produced nothing compared to the anti-Iranian rhetoric of 30 years ago.  Anyone remember the hit song "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb! Bomb Bomb Iran!" (to the tune of "Barbara Ann")?  Right after the embassy takeover bumper stickers began appearing with the message "For Thanksgiving, Hug An Iranian To Death!"  Another bumper sticker featured Mickey Mouse shouting "Hey Iran" and giving the finger. This type of behavior was not quite so prominently displayed after 9/11.  Attacks against Muslims after 9/11 were not as numerous as the attacks on those thought to be of Iranian origin during the hostage crisis.  And then, there was Jimmy Carter, our "compassionate" President, whose reaction was to deport all Iranians studying in this country without distinguishing whether or not individual students were supporters of Khomeini or the Shah.  Many were returned to Iran to be greeted by a firing squad.  (I am proud to say that my mother played a part in preventing one of her Iranian students, who did not support Khomeini, from being deported.)  A few days after 9/11, our "cowboy" President, George W. Bush visited a mosque to assure American Muslims that they would not be targeted by the government.  Those who claim that America became a dangerous place for political dissenters or Muslims after 9/11 are simply trying to score political points, if not deliberately attempting to undermine the war with radical Islam.  Those political figures or entertainment celebrities who claim the government is targeting them are self important people feeling guilty that they were not politically active during the 1960's.  They want to appear as heros to those who don't know any better.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friday Night Frozen Dinner And An Intellectual: "The Politics Of Jesus" by John Howard Yoder. Part I

Last Friday I began reading "The Politics of Jesus" by the late John Howard Yoder.  I have read in a few places that Christianity Today calls this book one of the most important Christian books of the twentieth century.  My only response is WHY?!

"The Politics of Jesus" starts out well enough.  In chapter one, Yoder laments that many modern scholars portray a Jesus who has no relevance to contempory social ethics.  The specific portrayals of Jesus targeted by Yoder originate in the movement known as "the search for the historical Jesus" which assumes that the portrait of Jesus from the four Gospels is inaccurate and therefore we must search for the real Jesus of history.  Some of these scholars, such as Albert Schweitzer, state that Jesus saw Himself as an apocolyptic figure, preparing His followers for the end of the world.  Because Jesus thought the world would end, he had no concern for how just a society's social structures were because those structures would disappear soon. Other theorize that Jesus was a rural figure who had no solutions to problems of complex urban settings and giant political and corporate structures.  Others picture Jesus as concerned solely with spiritual matters, not social matters.  Those who view Jesus in this manner believe Paul further strengthend the totally inward focus of the Christian Gospel.  There are those who believe that God is so wholly other than ourselves that he cannot be identified with any human ethical system, thereby rendering human ethical systems autonomous, leading to what we would call "Situation Ethics", a state where no one's personal ethics are either right or wrong.  Yoder rightly takes issue with these false portrayals of Jesus Christ and their denial of His relevance for social ethics.  Yoder goes further in saying that to study the Gospels as a true portrayal of Jesus will yield irrefutable evidence as to a concern for justice for the most vulnerable within the Gospel message.

"The Politics of Jesus" goes downhill after chapter one.  After warning readers against interpreting the Gospels through the lens of preconception, Yoder goes on to do just that, interpreting the Gospels, mainly Luke's, according to his own conception of what a just society should be.  He views the  Gospel message as purely an economic manifesto rather than a call to personal holiness.  His scriptural exegesis is a disaster.  He selectively interprets Biblical passages to wring from them what he wants them to say.  Yes, the Church in the West has ignored the Gospel's call to seek justice for the poor and other disadvantaged groups.  But Yoder tries to redress the balance by ignoring the command for us to be holy.  Yoder rightly brings to light the demand for justice in the messages of Zacharias, John the Baptist, Mary's Magnificat and Jesus' reading of Isaiah in Luke 4: 16-30.  Yet he incorrectly claims that these messages contain nothing concerning holiness of heart and life. He maintains that John the Baptist's audience consisted solely of tax collectors and soldiers who both tryannized the populace.  For Yoder, the cross was the result of Jesus' obedience to not take power by political means: "The cross is beginning to loom not as a ritually perscribed instrument of propitiation but as the political alternative to both insurrection and quietism."  Yoder believes that Jesus and his message was closely allied to the Zealots who were in revolt against Roman occupation.  When Jesus told the two on the road to Emmaeus that "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and enter into His glory" (Lk 24:26), Yoder believes Jesus was not refering to His ascention at all, but to the Kingdom He inaugurated by dying on the cross.  Yoder ties the Kingdom of God to the Year of Jubilee from Lev. 25, in which all debts were wiped off the books and property sold to pay off debts were returned to their original owners.  Yoder believes Jesus was innagurating a Kingdom in which debtors were released from their obligations.  Yoder states that the verse "forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors" (Mt 6:12) refers to the forgiveness of debts and not personal sins.  He wrongly states that the Greek word for debts that appears in this verse applies only to debt.  He also believes that Mt. 5: 25-26 deals with disputes over money, ignoring the context of dealing with anger and the judge and jail imagery being symbols for the prison anger puts us in.  To Yoder, the parable of the unjust steward is the representation of one who realizes that the reign of unjust mammon is over.  Yoder claims things with no evidence, such as the forgiven debtor who refuses to forgive a much smaller debt to him was a real Galilean peasant known to Jesus, or that Jesus' hearers would have interpreted His message through the same economic lense as Yoder's.

I had expected to disagree with Yoder's conclusions because I knew his message was along pacifist and liberal economic lines.  Yet I was not prepared with such a poor arguement as this.  I know people who think highly of Yoder and "The Politics of Jesus", so I am highly disappointed by what I have read so far.  Yet I will continue reading it for the next few Friday evenings.  Oh the price I pay for my readers!