Welcome to another weekend, and another edition of the Weekend Reading. I have a few stories for you before I go enjoy some sunny weather!
This past week or so has been one of the most successful foreign policy weeks for President Trump thus far. And when you tally up the wins – foreign and domestic – one begins to wonder if there’s been a shift in the political momentum from D to R. Some of the primary voting turnout numbers in Ohio, for instance, far out-paced the Dem turnout.
Even the libs at Quartz had to begrudgingly acknowledge that maybe Trump knows what he’s doing. When I read that this morning I had to rub my eyes to make sure I was really on the right email! You see a similar type of thing from the AP here. Though they couldn’t quite bring themselves to praise Trump.
Some of my friends have noted that I haven’t been afraid to be critical of the President in the past for moral failings, though if you know me well and read me carefully, I think you’ll find most of my fire has been reserved for those evangelicals who, like lemmings, latch onto anyone able to defy the liberals in the media. That disdain remains. There are a lot of people who refuse to diversify their information intake and consider other opinions outside their own. This is not helpful in a day when news outlets are really just spin factories for one view or another. My main objective in writing and having conversations with fellow Christians and conservatives on current events, is to get people thinking critically, and carefully about everything they see going on politically.
Some Christians say its not a matter of considering morality per se, but just picking the best of the worst – or the lesser of two evils on the ballot. Maybe that is so when it comes to elections, but in the time in-between, I think Christians (the church) must shine an unbiased light on leadership while still submitting to, and praying for, that leadership. Thinking critically should lead us to not excuse immorality, but also give praise where its due. On that note, my contention would be that as of right now, if you look at what the President has gotten accomplished policy-wise in his first year and a half, both home and abroad, its pretty impressive. All this despite the constant assailing he takes in the media. Not a small feat.
Which leads to this story: Who is paying Michael Avenatti? from the Hill. They raise some good questions.
One of the stories that, probably as a political guy, caught my attention recently was on Nancy Pelosi intends on running for Speaker of the House again if the Democrats take over the House in the Fall. In an interview this week she said the following:
“It’s important that it not be five white guys at the table, no offense,” Pelosi said, referring to the top two leadership spots in the House and Senate and the presidency. “I have no intention of walking away from that table.”
This statement reflects one of the things Jordan Peterson has gotten right about the left in America, which is that they divide people into socioeconomic or gender classes. They have become masters at division instead of seeing everyone as equally made in the image of God. Outward diversity is supreme at the expense of diversity of thought, or supremacy of character and mind. I would love to see the next Speaker (from either party) be someone who can unite at least their own party behind a set of ideals, be they economic, social or whatever. This is usually done better on the Presidential level, but it would be cool have have a Speaker who has that kind of vision and leadership – and, of course, my perspective is it would much better if that person was a conservative.
More critical thinking required here, as Al Mohler discusses a massive survey of college professors across the country, and their political leanings. Here is what I’ve been mulling around in my mind about this: If I’ve worked for 18 years to shape and fashion my child in the best way I can know possible, both morally and from an educational perspective, why would I then send the to be taught by atheist liberals whose worldview is going to skew everything good thing, and magnify every bad thing in science, philosophy, history, art, education, psychology, and on and on. People talk about the cost of colleges, and I sort of begin to wonder at the relevance of colleges (at least in the traditional sense). Don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer in the well-rounded individual. I love the idea of the liberal arts education in the purest sense of the term. But we’re now facing a situation where 1. the economic needs of our country are going to be more diverse than what most colleges today are preparing our kids for, and 2. the worldview being cultivated in said colleges is so dangerous and unhealthy that it promises to unravel the entire social, political, and economic fabric of our country if left unchecked.
Now, I will say that I absolutely thrived in the secular space of the university, where worldviews were messed up, and where professors were so twisted it wasn’t even funny – but I thrived because I was prepared, and because it suited my personality at the time (I used to enjoy conflict much more than I do now). But for the 95% of students who have very impressionable minds heading into college, it would be an unmitigated disaster. So….I have been thinking about this and really wrestling with where my kids will go for that next level(s) of education. These stories really bring home the importance of finding a good spot, and not settling for whatever state college happens to be offering the best scholarship….
Chamberlain-like snakes in the grass: Kerry is quietly seeking to salvage Iran deal he helped craft
I have been doing a lot of WWII studying this year, and a friend sent me this excellent video about those who died during the war, and how the death toll stacks up historically.
This promises to fascinate anyone who enjoys data and metrics: Cambridge Analytica: how did it turn clicks into votes?
This was good: The Reality of Disappointment
Also this: How to Pray about What You Say (Jon Bloom)
That’s all I have time for right now! From a book standpoint, I’m in the middle of several large books that are really keeping my count down haha! ALMOST done with Shirer’s book on the rise and fall of the third reich. It’s absolutely terrifying, and very good. It’s also like 1200 pages, so its taking some time. I’m about half way done with Russell Kirk’s ‘The Conservative Mind’, which has been very interesting and refreshing. And I’ve just launched into the first 60 pages of the Brothers Karamazov. Last night, I fell asleep reading Paul Tripp’s new parenting book, which has been full of gems, and the other night I passed the 50% marker on Jonathan Leeman’s important new book ‘How the Nations Rage’ – a work that I will be writing about here in more depth in the near future because of how insightful it is.
So I’m way behind in my goal of getting to 200 books by the end of the year. Probably only at 50 or 60 right now. But in the summer that count will pickup once I dispatch of Shirer and Kirk. More reviews to come!
Have a great day/weekend, and remember the gospel today – as Peter says, “…Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” – let’s live in light of that truth today.