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Dinner Topics Newsletter: Christmas is about Jesus Christ

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December 2016 Dinner Topics Newsletter: Christmas is about Jesus Christ Culture-Wars Dear Friends, Welcome to Epicworld Dinner Topics! CHRISTMAS IS NOT multi-cultural. Christmas is unique to Biblical Culture, for without Christ, there would be no Christmas. It is called Western … Continue reading

YouTube Music: Classic Tchaikovsky

Dinner Topics for Friday

keyBecause a custom is old is no reason for junking it.~Louis L’Amour

YouTube Music: Beautiful Classic Swan Lake

 

from Wikipedia

tchaikovskyjpgPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky  Pyotr Ilyich Chaykovsky; 7 May 1840 – 6 November 1893),[a 2] anglicised as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer whose works included symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music, and a choral setting of The Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Some of these are among the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, which he bolstered with appearances as a guest conductor later in his career in Europe and the United States. One of these appearances was at the inaugural concert of Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1891. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension in the late 1880s.

 

Years of wandering

Tchaikovsky remained abroad for a year after the disintegration of his marriage, during which he completed Eugene Onegin, orchestrated the Fourth Symphony and composed the Violin Concerto.[137] He returned to the Moscow Conservatory in the autumn of 1879 but only as a temporary move; he informed Nikolai Rubinstein on the day of his arrival that he would stay no longer than December.[138][a 9] Once his professorship had ended officially, he traveled incessantly throughout Europe and rural Russia. Assured of a regular income from von Meck, he lived mainly alone, did not stay long anywhere and avoided social contact whenever possible.[139] His troubles with Antonina continued. She agreed to divorce him, then refused. While he was on an extended visit to Moscow, she moved into an apartment directly above where he was staying.[140] Tchaikovsky listed her accusations in detail to Modest: “I am a deceiver who married her in order to hide my true nature … I insulted her every day, her sufferings at my hands were great … she is appalled by my shameful vice, etc., etc.” He may have lived the rest of his life in dread of Antonina’s power to expose him publicly.[141] This could be why his best work from this period, except for the piano trio which he wrote upon the death of Nikolai Rubinstein, is found in genres which did not require deep personal expression.[140

Tchaikovsky’s foreign reputation grew rapidly. In Russia, though, it was “considered obligatory [in progressive musical circles in Russia] to treat Tchaikovsky as a renegade, a master overly dependent on the West.”[142] In 1880 this assessment changed. During commemoration ceremonies for the Pushkin Monument in Moscow, novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky charged that poet and playwright Alexander Pushkin had given a prophetic call to Russia for “universal unity” with the West.[142] An unprecedented acclaim for Dostoyevsky’s message spread throughout Russia, and with it disdain for Tchaikovsky’s music evaporated. He even drew a cult following among the young intelligentsia of Saint Petersburg, including Alexandre Benois, Léon Bakst and Sergei Diaghilev.[143]

In 1880, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour neared completion in Moscow; the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Alexander II in 1881 was imminent;[a 10] and the 1882 Moscow Arts and Industry Exhibition was in the planning stage. Nikolai Rubinstein suggested a grand commemorative piece for association with these related festivities. Tchaikovsky began the project in October 1880, finishing it within six weeks. He wrote to Nadezhda von Meck that the resulting work, the 1812 Overture, would be “very loud and noisy, but I wrote it with no warm feeling of love, and therefore there will probably be no artistic merits in it.”[144] He also warned conductor Eduard Nápravník that “I shan’t be at all surprised and offended if you find that it is in a style unsuitable for symphony concerts.”[144] Nevertheless, this work has become for many “the piece by Tchaikovsky they know best.”[145]

On 23 March 1881, Nikolai Rubinstein died in Paris. Tchaikovsky, holidaying in Rome, went immediately to attend the funeral. He arrived in Paris too late for the ceremony but was in the cortege which accompanied Rubinstein’s coffin by train to Russia.[146] In December, he started work on his Piano Trio in A minor, “dedicated to the memory of a great artist.”[147] The trio was first performed privately at the Moscow Conservatory on the first anniversary of Rubinstein’s death.[148][a 11] The piece became extremely popular during the composer’s lifetime and became Tchaikovsky’s own elegy when played at memorial concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg in November 1893.[149]

 

Return to Russia

Now 44 years old, in 1884 Tchaikovsky began to shed his unsociability and restlessness. In March of that year, Tsar Alexander III conferred upon him the Order of St. Vladimir (fourth class), which carried with it hereditary nobility[150] and won Tchaikovsky a personal audience with the Tsar.[151] This was a visible seal of official approval which advanced Tchaikovsky’s social standing.[150] This advance may have been cemented in the composer’s mind by the great success of his Orchestral Suite No. 3 at its January 1885 premiere in Saint Petersburg, under von Bülow’s direction,[152] at which the press was unanimously favorable. Tchaikovsky wrote to von Meck: “I have never seen such a triumph. I saw the whole audience was moved, and grateful to me. These moments are the finest adornments of an artist’s life. Thanks to these it is worth living and laboring.”.[152]

Despite his disdain for public life, Tchaikovsky now participated in it both as a consequence of his increasing celebrity and because he felt it his duty to promote Russian music. He helped support his former pupil Sergei Taneyev, who was now director of Moscow Conservatory, by attending student examinations and negotiating the sometimes sensitive relations among various members of the staff. Tchaikovsky also served as director of the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society during the 1889-1890 season. In this post, he invited many international celebrities to conduct, including Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák and Jules Massenet, although not all of them accepted.[151]

 

Tchaikovsky also promoted Russian music as a conductor,[151] as which he had sought to establish himself for at least a decade, believing that it would reinforce his success.[154] In January 1887 he substituted at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow at short notice for performances of his opera Cherevichki.[155] Within a year of the Cherevichki performances, Tchaikovsky was in considerable demand throughout Europe and Russia, which helped him overcome life-long stage fright and boosted his self-assurance.[156] Conducting brought him to America in 1891, where he led the New York Music Society’s orchestra in his Festival Coronation March at the inaugural concert of the Carnegie Hall.[157]

In 1888 Tchaikovsky led the premiere of his Fifth Symphony in Saint Petersburg, repeating the work a week later with the first performance of his tone poem Hamlet. Although critics proved hostile, with César Cui calling the symphony “routine” and “meretricious”, both works were received with extreme enthusiasm by audiences and Tchaikovsky, undeterred, continued to conduct the symphony in Russia and Europe.[158]

 

Parents: Teaching Chastity and Fidelity

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Richard and Linda Eyre

Parenting Value for December: Chastity and Fidelity, Part 1

General Methods for teaching chastity and fidelity

momdaughterwillowMake your own example of fidelity as obvious and noticeable as possible. You can help your children see the importance that you place on this value as well as the happiness and security it gives you. Talk about commitment in personal terms. If you are a two-parent family, point out how the two of you belong to each other so that you don’t need any other man or woman. Try to let children see the basic physical signs of love and commitment, such as holding hands or a kiss as you leave for work.

Make sex and sexual maturity an open topic in your family. Maximize the number of opportunities you have to comment on the logic and benefits of chastity and fidelity and to permit concerns and problems to surface early rather than late. With children over eight (assuming that you have had your initial talk with them as suggested), do all you can to make sex an open and agreeable subject rather than something that is secret or off-limits or silly or embarrassing. It may seem difficult and unnatural at first, but these feelings are a sign that the subject needs opening up. Things you observe on television, movies, and music – or in article or books – or in styles of dress – all present potential opportunities to make comments about what you think is appropriate or not appropriate, what things are moral in the sense that they help and what things are immoral (or amoral) in the sense they may hurt someone physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Look for chances to discuss the behavior of young adolescents (your children’s acquaintances) and bring up the possible connections of that behavior to hormones and the effects of puberty.

Strive to convey the following two impressions whenever possible: (a) sex, the feelings and changes of puberty, and the attractions and feelings they cause us to feel are natural and good, even wonderful and miraculous; and (b) because sex is natural and good, and because its urges are powerful and have to do with the creation of life, its use should be connected to love and commitment – it is too beautiful to be made common or to squander.

Sample Method for Elementary Age:

Focusing on Age Eight

When our children have their eighth birthday, they undergo something of a rite of passage, going from a kid to a semi-grown-up, from a tutee to a tutor, from someone who knew almost nothing about sex and reproduction to someone who could probably teach a course on the subject.

We begin several weeks before the child’s eighth birthday, “priming” him by indicating that when he turns eight, he will be given some new privileges, some new responsibilities, and will learn about “the most beautiful and wonderful thing on earth.”

When the big day arrives, we take the new eight-year-old on a private daddy-mommy date to a nice restaurant, making every effort to treat him with a new maturity and respect. As mentioned earlier, we give him some added responsibility in areas such as choosing his own clothes and earning more money by doing family chores. We express our pride in him and our appreciation of him.

Then we go home for the much-anticipated highlight of the evening: our private talk about the “most wonderful and beautiful thing on earth.” In upbeat, positive terms we explain the facts of life using diagrams and pictures to explain reproduction. (We particularly like using the child’s book Where Did I Come From?) We encourage questions; we ask him often if he understands; and we watch his expressions to be sure he’s not only comprehending but appreciating what we are telling him.

Then we make a very strong point of how smart and how right it is to be careful how we use something as important and as miraculous as sex. We point out that something that special should be saved for one person – for the commitment of marriage, where it can be a wedding gift that has never been given before.

Children accept this idea very easily. It seems natural to them that something so private and so beautiful (and something so magic and powerful that it starts new babies) should be saved and used carefully rather than spent indiscriminately.

It is also natural to them to understand that after two people are married, sex is a bond and a special, private way of expression love between them that should not be used outside of marriage.

We also talk about AIDS and of the dangers of misusing sex. And we use the standard “values formula” by discussing how and who is helped by being careful about sex and how and who is hurt when people are not careful about sex.

– Richard

Eight may seem like a young age for some of the discussion represented above, but it is the right age for two very important reasons: (a) to wait longer runs the risk (if not the likely possibility) that your child will learn of reproduction and sex in the negative and silly perspective of the other children who will tell them about things before you do; (b) eight years old is a natural and curious age when children can understand in a sweet, uncynical way.

One evening and one discussion, of course, is not enough. An evening such as we have suggested can establish the basics and open wide the door of trust that permits the subject to be one of ongoing openness and discussion.

Certainly the underlying philosophy involved in teaching children the value of fidelity and chastity is that sex is too beautiful and too good to be given or used or thought of loosely or without commitment. The opposite view of sex as a dirty or evil thing should be avoided and countered at every opportunity.

Sample Method for Adolescent Age:

The Mortar Metaphor

This comparison can help adolescents understand the importance of fidelity in marriage. Look for a quiet private time (perhaps while traveling in a car or during a peaceful moment at bedtime) and relate the following comparison:

It takes many elements to build a house – the bricks, the boards, the shingles, the windows, the doors, and so on. One key element is the mortar, which holds the walls together and keeps everything in place. Similarly it takes many qualities to build a happy, unified family. It takes caring and helping and patience along with financial and emotional support. In a way the thing that “sticks” a family together and gives security and confidence to the parents and the children is the sexual fidelity of the mother and father. If either parent “cheats” on the other, it causes tremendous emotional strain. One parents feels guilty and secretive. The other feels disgraced and discarded. Even if the parents don’t separate or divorce, much of the feeling and commitment is gone, and the family, like a house without mortar, can begin to break apart.

Moral Support: Heritage Foundation influences Trump Transition, supports Jeff Sessions Attorney General nomination

Moral Support:

Heritage Foundation influences Trump Transition, supports Jeff Sessions Attorney General nomination

Heritage Foundation ‘one of the most influential forces’ shaping Trump transition

heritageaction[T]he Heritage Foundation has emerged as one of the most influential forces shaping President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, embedding the veteran Washington group into the operation of a candidate who ran loudly against the Beltway.

Part gate-keeper, part brain trust and part boots on the ground, Heritage is both a major presence on the transition team itself, and a crucial conduit between Trump’s orbit and the once-skeptical conservative leaders who ultimately helped get him elected.

Heritage is “absolutely the fulcrum, and essential to staffing the administration with people who reflect Trump’s commitments across the board,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the prominent Susan B. Anthony List group…

Heritage experts spent much of the past year preparing Mandate for Leadership, a series of reports outlining specific policies the new administration should enact. Heritage also helped craft a list of potential conservative Supreme Court appointees–and as Politico notes, “it’s hard to overstate the importance of that list.”

The Politico writeup also explains that Heritage helped build a “shadow transition team” by identifying conservatives who could serve in the administration:

Three sources from different conservative groups said that Heritage employees have been soliciting, stockpiling and vetting resumes for months with an eye on stacking Trump’s administration with conservative appointees across the government. One source described the efforts as a “shadow transition team,” and “an effort to have the right kind of people in there.”

Heritage ‘one of the most influential forces’ shaping Trump transition

 

Why Jeff Sessions is the perfect pick for attorney general.

 

Senator Sessions and Donald Trump

Senator Sessions and Donald Trump

Last week, Trump nominated Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for attorney general. Conservatives are excited — and for good reason. Heritage President Jim DeMint said that “No one will work harder than Jeff Sessions to defend the freedoms and safety of all Americans as attorney general. Not surprisingly, liberal news outlets are reporting that Sessions’ road to confirmation could face Democrat opposition. Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow, says that is what makes him such a good nominee. “Sen. Sessions is battle-tested. He has shown that he will stand up to the vicious and spiteful lies cast by the left in the heat of political fights over constitutional principles.” Read his commentary on FoxNews.com. Meanwhile, Heritage staff continue to assist Trump’s transition with guidance on nominees and conservative policy solutions.

 

Pentagon to End Gun-Free Zones on Military Bases

AWR Hawkins

gun-free-zonesOn November 18, the Pentagon issued a Defense Department directive that will “allow Department of Defense (D0D) personnel to carry firearms and employ deadly force while performing official duties.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Work approved the directive.

Military.com reports that the directive “also provides detailed guidance to the services for permitting soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel to carry privately owned firearms on DoD property.” It authorizes “commanders, 05 and above…[to] grant permission to DoD personnel requesting to carry a privately owned firearm (concealed or open carry) on DoD property for a personal protection purpose not related to performance of an official duty or status.”

President-elect Donald Trump ran on removing gun-free zones from military bases. On July 9, 2015, Breitbart News reported that Trump pledged to end the gun-free scenarios for U.S. troops by “[mandating] that soldiers remain armed and on alert at our military bases.”

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/11/22/pentagon-end-gun-free-zones-military-bases/

Report: President-Elect Trump Called Family of Slain Texas Cop

Judge spanks transgender-obsessed Obama

Reaffirms nationwide injunction blocking White House policy for trans bathroom in schools

Bob Unruh

culture-wars-education-crimesThe ruling this week from U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor left intact his nationwide injunction against Obama’s decision that transgender public school students can use the restroom of their choice, rather than the restroom designated for their biological gender.
The Obama administration contends that when Congress adopted the nondiscrimination law in 1972, it had open restrooms and showers in mind.

At that time, the judge pointed out, “It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as used in [existing law] when it was enacted by DOE following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”
See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/11/judge-catches-obama-in-transgender-bathroom-lie/

 

 

 

History Heroes: Winston Churchill

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Winston Churchill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

churchillSir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KGOMCHTDDLFRSRA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician and Nobel laureate who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. Churchill is the only British Prime Minister to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature since its inception in 1901, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.

Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Sudan, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.

churchill-on-socialismAt the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of Asquith’s Liberal government. During the war, he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign caused his departure from government. He then briefly resumed active army service on the Western Front as commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to government as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, and Secretary of State for Air. In 1921–1922 Churchill served as Secretary of State for the Colonies, then Chancellor of the Exchequer in Baldwin’s Conservative government of 1924–1929, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy. Also controversial were his opposition to increased home rule for India and his resistance to the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII.

Out of office and politically “in the wilderness” during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His steadfast refusal to consider defeat, surrender, or a compromise peace helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult early days of the war when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. Churchill was particularly noted for his speeches and radio broadcasts, which helped inspire the British people. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. After winning the 1951 election, he again became Prime Minister, before retiring in 1955. Upon his death, Elizabeth II granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen in history.[1] Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is widely regarded as being among the most influential people in British history, consistently ranking well in opinion polls of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom.

Related Post

Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and President Obama

 

Patriotism: In YouTube Video, Donald Trump bypasses anti-American media

Patriotism:

In YouTube Video, Donald Trump bypasses anti-American media

Takes 100-day plan directly to the people: increase national security, end bad trade deals, stop ISIS, drain bureaucratic swamp by placing a ban on politicians who become lobbyists.

Christian Books: CS Lewis, and Mere Christianity

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

keyExpert Children’s Book Reviewers tell us there is a great dearth of good literature for children and young adults. They are not being taught about God in schools, or even the Universal Morality that Lewis refers to. If we want our children to have good character, which is founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, we need to teach them ourselves. C S Lewis’ work  will bless families for generations to come.  Let’s start today to strengthen our families—turn off the TV and reach for these timeless classics.  ~C A Davidson

Related post on moral compass

From Wikipedia

C.S._Lewis,_BelfastClive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly called C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as “Jack”, was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist. Born in Belfast, Ireland, he held academic positions at both Oxford University (Magdalen College), 1925–1954, and Cambridge University (Magdalene College), 1954–1963. He is best known both for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. Both authors served on the English faculty at Oxford University, and both were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the “Inklings“. According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptized in the Church of Ireland (part of the Anglican Communion) at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at the age of 32 Lewis returned to the Anglican Communion, becoming “a very ordinary layman of the Church of England“.[1] His faith had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.

In 1956, he married the American writer Joy Davidman, 17 years his junior, who died four years later of cancer at the age of 45. Lewis died three years after his wife, from renal failure, one week before his 65th birthday. Media coverage of his death was minimal; he died on 22 November 1963—the same day that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the same day another famous author, Aldous Huxley, died. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis will be honoured with a memorial in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey.

Lewis’s works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularized on stage, TV, radio, and cinema.

Christian apologist

In addition to his career as an English professor and an author of fiction, Lewis is regarded by many as one of the most influential Christian apologists of his time; Mere Christianity was voted best book of the twentieth century by Christianity Today in 2000.[58] Due to Lewis’s approach to religious belief as a sceptic, and his following conversion, he has been called “The Apostle to the Skeptics.”

Lewis was very interested in presenting a reasonable case for Christianity. Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and Miracles were all concerned, to one degree or another, with refuting popular objections to Christianity, such as “How could a good God allow pain to exist in the world?”. He also became known as a popular lecturer and broadcaster, and some of his writing (including much of Mere Christianity) originated as scripts for radio talks or lectures.[59][page needed]

According to George Sayer, losing a 1948 debate with Elizabeth Anscombe, also a Christian, led Lewis to reevaluate his role as an apologist, and his future works concentrated on devotional literature and children’s books.[60] Anscombe, however, had a completely different recollection of the debate’s outcome and its emotional effect on Lewis.[60] Victor Reppert also disputes Sayer, listing some of Lewis’s post-1948 apologetic publications, including the second and revised edition of his Miracles in 1960, in which Lewis addressed Anscombe’s criticism.[61] Noteworthy too is Roger Teichman’s suggestion in The Philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe[62][page needed] that the intellectual impact of Anscombe’s paper on Lewis’s philosophical self-confidence should not be overrated: “… it seems unlikely that he felt as irretrievably crushed as some of his acquaintances have made out; the episode is probably an inflated legend, in the same category as the affair of Wittgenstein’s poker. Certainly Anscombe herself believed that Lewis’s argument, though flawed, was getting at something very important; she thought that this came out more in the improved version of it that Lewis presented in a subsequent edition of Miracles – though that version also had ‘much to criticize in it’.”

Lewis also wrote an autobiography titled Surprised by Joy, which places special emphasis on his own conversion. (It was written before he met his wife, Joy Gresham; the title of the book came from the first line of a poem by William Wordsworth.) His essays and public speeches on Christian belief, many of which were collected in God in the Dock and The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, remain popular today.

His most famous works, the Chronicles of Narnia, contain many strong Christian messages and are often considered allegory. Lewis, an expert on the subject of allegory, maintained that the books were not allegory, and preferred to call the Christian aspects of them “suppositional“. As Lewis wrote in a letter to a Mrs. Hook in December 1958:

If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair [a character in The Pilgrim’s Progress] represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality however he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, ‘What might Christ become like, if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?’ This is not allegory at all.[63]

“Trilemma”

Main article: Lewis’s trilemma

In a much-cited passage from Mere Christianity, Lewis challenged the view that Jesus, although a great moral teacher, was not God. He argued that Jesus made several implicit claims to divinity, which would logically exclude this:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.[64]

This argument, which Lewis did not invent but developed and popularized, is sometimes referred to as “Lewis’s trilemma“. It has been used by the Christian apologist Josh McDowell in his book More Than a Carpenter (McDowell 2001). Although widely repeated in Christian apologetic literature, it has been largely ignored by professional theologians and biblical scholars.[65]

Lewis’s Christian apologetics, and this argument in particular, have been criticized. Philosopher John Beversluis described Lewis’s arguments as “textually careless and theologically unreliable,”[66] and this particular argument as logically unsound and an example of false dilemma.[67] Theologian John Hick argues that New Testament scholars do not now support the view that Jesus claimed to be God,[68] New Testament scholar N. T. Wright criticizes Lewis for failing to recognize the significance of Jesus’ Jewish identity and setting – an oversight which “at best, drastically short-circuits the argument” and which lays Lewis open to criticism that his argument “doesn’t work as history, and it backfires dangerously when historical critics question his reading of the gospels,” although he believes this “doesn’t undermine the eventual claim.” [69]

Lewis used a similar argument in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, when Digory Kirke advises the young heroes that their sister’s claims of a magical world must logically be taken as either lies, madness, or truth.[61]

Universal morality

right-wrongsignOne of the main theses in Lewis’s apologia is that there is a common morality known throughout humanity. In the first five chapters of Mere Christianity Lewis discusses the idea that people have a standard of behaviour to which they expect people to adhere. This standard has been called Universal Morality or Natural Law. Lewis claims that people all over the earth know what this law is and when they break it. He goes on to claim that there must be someone or something behind such a universal set of principles.[70]

These then are the two points that I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.[71]

Lewis also portrays Universal Morality in his works of fiction. In The Chronicles of Narnia he describes Universal Morality as the “deep magic” which everyone knew.[72]

In the second chapter of Mere Christianity Lewis recognizes that “many people find it difficult to understand what this Law of Human Nature … is”. And he responds first to the idea “that the Moral Law is simply our herd instinct” and second to the idea “that the Moral Law is simply a social convention”. In responding to the second idea Lewis notes that people often complain that one set of moral ideas is better than another, but that this actually argues for there existing some “Real Morality” to which they are comparing other moralities. Finally he notes that sometimes differences in moral codes are exaggerated by people who confuse differences in beliefs about morality with differences in beliefs about facts:

I have met people who exaggerate the differences, because they have not distinguished between differences of morality and differences of belief about facts. For example, one man said to me, “Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?” But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did – if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbours or drive them mad or bring bad weather, surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did. There is no difference of moral principle here: the difference is simply about matter of fact. It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there. You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house.[73]

Lewis also had fairly progressive views on the topic of “animal morality”, in particular the suffering of animals, as is evidenced by several of his essays: most notably, On Vivisection[74] and “On the Pains of Animals.”[75][76]

Legacy

Lewis continues to attract a wide readership. In 2008, The Times ranked him eleventh on their list of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.[77] Readers of his fiction are often unaware of what Lewis considered the Christian themes of his works. His Christian apologetics are read and quoted by members of many Christian denominations.[78] In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis will join some of Britain’s greatest writers recognized at Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey.[79]

Lewis has been the subject of several biographies, a few of which were written by close friends, such as Roger Lancelyn Green and George Sayer. In 1985 the screenplay Shadowlands by William Nicholson, dramatising Lewis’s life and relationship with Joy Davidman Gresham, was aired on British television, starring Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom. This was also staged as a theatre play starring Nigel Hawthorne in 1989, and made into the 1993 feature film Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. In 2005, a one-hour television movie entitled C. S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia, starring Anton Rodgers, provided a general synopsis of Lewis’s life.

Read more about C.S. Lewis

 

Political Cartoon: Castro Death

Political Cartoon:

Castro Death—First of Three?

Ex-Bodyguard: Fidel Lived Like Billionaire Playboy as People Starved

Ice Cream Shop Creates Flavor Called ‘Burn in Hell Fidel’

BOTEACH: Obama, World Leaders Disgrace Themselves by Refusing to Condemn Castro

North Korea Commands 3-Day Mourning Period for Fidel Castro…

…Orwellian Media Won’t Say ‘Communism’

cartoon-castro-death

Truth Zone: Science Facts, Donald Trump vs. Climate Change Hoax

Truth Zone:

Science Facts, Donald Trump vs. Climate Change Hoax

Trump: The Left Just Lost The War On Climate Change

James Delingpole

Donald Trump isn’t just skeptical about global warming. He is what the alarmists would call a full-on climate change “denier”.

Donald Trump Tweets:

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Give me clean, beautiful and healthy air – not the same old climate change (global warming) bulls**t! I am tired of hearing this nonsense.

 

RushGlobalWarmingObamaNo world leader has ever been this outspoken on climate change. The only other one to have come close to this position was former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott – but he just didn’t have the support base to maintain it and was ousted in a coup staged by one of the climate alarmist establishment, Malcolm Turnbull.

But with a climate skeptic running the most powerful nation in the world, the $1.5 trillion per annum climate change industry is going to start to unravel big time.

A Trump presidency is likely to be good news for fossil fuels (and heavy industry that needs cheap energy to survive); and very bad news for renewables.

chickenlittle2To get an idea of the horrors to come for the greenies, look at how they reacted to the prospect of his new Environmental Protection Agency Dismantler-in-Chief Myron Ebell.

Ebell is an old friend of mine who works on climate and energy issues at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The fact that he’s an old friend of mine probably tells you all you need to know about where he stands on global warming.

Here’s how Newsweek views him:

Ebell is sometimes described as climate denier-in-chief, and he revels in it, crowing in his biography that he’s been called one of the leading “misleaders” on climate change and “villain of the month” by one environmental group. David Goldston, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, says Ebell “doesn’t believe in climate change and wants to reverse the advances we’ve had in environmental protection and decimate—if not utterly destroy—the Environmental Protection Agency.” The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Ebell’s employer, “has done everything it can politically and through litigation to block any forward movement on climate and to try to harass anybody who is trying to get forward movement,” Goldston says.

Ebell is also the chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, more than two dozen nonprofit groups “that question global warming alarmism and oppose energy rationing policies,” according to the coalition’s website. Those positions line up nicely with Trump’s goals, which include “saving” the coal industry, reviving the Keystone XL oil pipeline and expanding offshore oil drilling.

Ebell has attacked nearly every aspect of Obama’s environmental policies and accomplishments. He has said that the president’s decision in September to sign the Paris climate accord—which commits nations to sharp reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change—was “clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate’s authority” because treaties need approval by two-thirds of the Senate. (The White House argued that it was an agreement, not a treaty.) In a speech in August at the Detroit Economic Club, Trump said he would cancel the agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. climate change programs.

chickenlittle1Yup, greenies. That climate change gravy train you’ve been riding these last four decades looks like it’s headed for a major, Atlas-Shrugged-style tunnel incident…

 

Trump: The Left Just Lost The War On Climate Change