Tag Archives: Environmentalism

Can a person be postmodern and a Christian at the same time?

Can a person be postmodern and a Christian? Not for long
Can a person be postmodern and a Christian? Let’s look at their leader

Wow. Postmodern “Christian” Brian McLaren has completely abandoned traditional Christianity. McLaren, you may already know, spear-headed the “emergent church” movement – an attempt to fuse postmodern relativism with liberal Christianity.

Greg Koukl and Kevin DeYoung analyze his latest book “A New Kind of Christianity”.

The MP3 file is here.

Details:

Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s New Kind of Christianity
Host: Greg Koukl

Guest: Kevin DeYoung – Brian McLaren’s “New Kind of Christianity” (00:00:00)
Commentary: Reality vs. Religion? The Modern Upper Story Leap (00:56:39)
Guest: Dennis Prager – Reality vs. Religion (01:52:25)

We’re interested in the first hour of the three-hour show.

Topics of hour one:

  • What is Brian’s view of Creation?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of Scripture?
  • What is Brian’s view of Truth?
  • What is Brian’s view of sin and Hell?
  • What is Brian’s view of the Fall?
  • What is Brian’s view of atonement?
  • How did Brian’s leftist political views infect his theology?
  • How did postmodernism affect Brian’s epistemology?
  • How faithful is Brian in interpreting the text?

There’s also a nice blog post about Brian McLaren by Melinda from Stand to Reason, too.

Excerpt:

McLaren doesn’t think the Bible is to be taken literally. For instance, the Garden of Eden story isn’t about sin and the Fall, rather it’s a “compassionate coming of age story.”  Consequently, the whole idea of sin and Hell is a horrible overreaction and has caused the church to offer a violent message and image all these years.  It follows from this interpretation then, that there is no need for the cross and Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Those are violent ideas resulting from a bad reading of the Bible.

And a couple of longer reviews are linked.

Tim Challies and Kevin DeYoung have written excellent and more in-depth reviews of McLaren’s new book and I highly recommend them.

I highly recommend you listen to this podcast and if you know anyone who is being influenced by the (non) religious left, take a look at the articles, especially the DeYoung article, which is quite good.

A generous “orthodoxy”?

And finally, here is a review of another much earlier Brian McLaren book by Biola University professor of philosophy Doug Geivett – one of my absolute favorite people. This is back when McLaren was just starting to leave orthodox Christianity behind.

Excerpt:

Brian McLaren’s book A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan, 2004) has been called a manifesto of the “emerging church” — a movement that is rethinking Christianity against the backdrop of postmodernism. McLaren is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Md.

[…]In using the term “orthodoxy” for his position, McLaren is making a political move to subvert traditional evangelical theology. “Orthodoxy,” as he uses it, is whatever happens to be in vogue and culturally dominant. Also, an important theme among postmodernists has to do with the nature of belief — they doubt that people have, or need, good reasons to believe as they do, so they emphasize behavior over belief. (This probably explains why McLaren’s book relies less on evidence and argumentation and more on rhetoric.) However, in de-emphasizing the importance of belief, McLaren and other postmodernists overlook three things.

First, belief is the engine that drives behavior. The best way to cure wrong action is to identify false beliefs. Second, all people — even postmodernists — have definite beliefs about the things that matter most. They can’t help it. While McLaren resists the invitation to state clearly what he believes — for example, about the eternal destiny of nonbelievers — surely he has some view of the matter and that view influences his approach to the proclamation of the gospel. (As a pastor, he should have good ideas about this and a host of other issues of theological significance.) Third — though postmodernists sneer at the idea of evidence — evidence matters because it’s how we determine what’s true and is crucial to ordering our lives according to truth. In this respect, the postmodernist is out of step with the culture because human beings are by nature evidence-gatherers.

Very important to understand where these postmodern “Christians” are coming from, and where they end up when they’ve worked their mystical anti-realism through to its conclusions.

As Speaker of the House in Florida, Marco Rubio pushed for cap and trade

Marco Rubio with his allies: Democrat Churck Schumer and RINO John McCain
Marco Rubio with his allies: Democrat Churck Schumer and RINO John McCain

Somehow, I missed this story about Rubio’s support for a radical anti-business policy that is pushed by global warming alarmists. (It came up in the Fox News debate last night)

Read this from Breitbart News:

As the Speaker of the Florida state House of Representatives, now U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)  was aggressively pushing for Florida to adapt to what he viewed as an inevitable “federal cap and trade program.”

In a politically damning video, Rubio backs cap and trade and argues that Florida—his state—should get in line to comply with the federal government rather than fight back.

“Florida should do two things,” Rubio said in 2008 on Florida television, in video discovered by Breitbart News.

First, Florida should position itself for what I believe is inevitable and that is a federal cap and trade program. Florida should do everything it can to be an early complier so it can access early compliance funds and so that it can help influence what that cap and trade looks like at the federal level. So I’m in favor of giving the Department of Environmental Protection a mandate that they go out and design a cap and trade or a carbon tax program and bring it back to the legislature for ratification some time in the next two years.

Cap and trade is an environmental system that hardcore liberals including former Vice President Al Gore support. A federal cap and trade program would be centered around a carbon tax.

“It will be difficult for sure but we can back away from the fiscal cliff and the climate cliff at the same time,” Gore said in 2012. “One way is with a carbon tax.”

Support for cap and trade is basically about as politically toxic a position as a Republican can take when it comes to the party’s voters, and ranks up there among GOP base voters as about as unacceptable a position as support for amnesty for illegal aliens, government-run healthcare, restrictions against the Second Amendment or support for open borders style international trade policies.

That Rubio has now racked up questionable behavior not just on immigration and international trade—which have been known quantities heading into this election cycle—but now questions about his Second Amendment stance, his actions on Obamacare, and even his work for cap and trade have conservatives questioning if there’s anything Rubio agrees with them on.

Here’s the video:

It looks like Rubio agrees with Barack Obama on this:

Yes – Rubio and Obama agree that your electricity prices should skyrocket, because we have to stop “global warming”. So pay up, suckers. You have lots of money for global warming schemes, don’t you?

In the past, I blogged about Marco Rubio’s support for amnesty, his support for Hillary Clinton’s disastrous Libya intervention, and his deliberate skipping of votes to defund Planned Parenthood to do campaign events instead. Rubio has a billionaire donor who is strongly in support of gay rights, gay marriage and amnesty – does anyone believe that he does not expect to get his money’s worth if Rubio is elected President?

And in my afternoon post, I’ll be blogging about ANOTHER time where Rubio sided with Democrats on their priorities – this time on removing the rights of people accused of rape and sexual assault on university campuses. Rubio just seems to always want to side with Democrats on their issues, and never with conservatives on our issues.

The good news about this is that we don’t have to pick a pro-amnesty, pro-cap-and-trade, pro-Libya-debacle liberal in the GOP primary. We can vote for Ted Cruz, who has made none of these mistakes.

New study: fracking does not contaminate drinking water

Hydraulic fracturing also known as "fracking"
Hydraulic fracturing also known as “fracking”

The study comes out of Yale University, and was published in PNAS. Pretty good school, pretty good peer-reviewed journal.

Here’s the introduction:

Organic compounds found in drinking water aquifers above the Marcellus Shale and other shale plays could reflect natural geologic transport processes or contamination from anthropogenic activities, including enhanced natural gas production. Using analyses of organic compounds coupled with inorganic geochemical fingerprinting, estimates of groundwater residence time, and geospatial analyses of shale gas wells and disclosed safety violations, we determined that the dominant source of organic compounds to shallow aquifers was consistent with surface spills of disclosed chemical additives. There was no evidence of association with deeper brines or long-range migration of these compounds to the shallow aquifers. Encouragingly, drinking water sources affected by disclosed surface spills could be targeted for treatment and monitoring to protect public health.

So, the fracking – which happens deep below the earth – didn’t introduce any new chemical additives into the water. Basically, fracking involves fracturing rocks using high pressure water, sand and chemicals. The question is whether chemicals and/or the fracking fluid contaminate the water supply used by humans. The answer, according to this study, is no. The distance between the water supply and the shale is simple far, far, far too great for the cracks to traverse. The minor contamination from surface spills is easy to detect and cleanup. This is not what you see on far left web sites and Hollywood movies, but it is what you see in studies down by Yale University scientists published in prestigious peer-reviewed science journals.

Anyway, this study is consistent with a report from the far-left radically environmentalist Environmental Protection Agency.

This is reported in the radically leftist National Public Radio, of all places.

Excerpt:

The Environmental Protection Agency says it finds no evidence that hydraulic fracturing — better known as fracking — has led to widespread pollution of drinking water. The oil industry and its backers welcome the long-awaited study while environmental groups criticize it.

“We found the hydraulic fracturing activities in the United States are carried out in a way that has not led to widespread systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” says Tom Burke, Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “In fact, the number of documented impacts to drinking water resources is relatively low when compared to the number of fractured wells,” he adds.

The EPA’s draft assessment was conducted at the request of Congress. “It is the most complete compilation of scientific data to date,” says Burke, “including over 950 sources of information, published papers, numerous technical reports, information from stakeholders and peer-reviewed EPA scientific reports.”

Fracking has allowed drillers to tap oil and natural gas reserves once thought off-limits deep underground. That has led to drilling booms across the country and boosted the country’s oil and natural gas production significantly. But environmental groups have long argued fracking comes with a cost to the environment, especially to water. Those groups have called for stronger regulations and even bans on fracking altogether.

[…]The American Petroleum Institute says the conclusions echo what the oil industry has argued all along. “Hydraulic fracturing is being done safely under the strong environmental stewardship of state regulators and industry best practices,” says Erik Milito, API upstream group director.

Acknowledging the potential vulnerabilities outlined in the EPA report, Milito says, “Continuous safety improvements have been an ongoing part of hydraulic fracturing for 65 years.”

Indeed. This is not the first time that the radically leftist EPA has cleared the fracking industry, either. I blogged about the last one for Dimock, Pennsylvania.

Here’s an excerpt from the EPA press release that exonerates fracking:

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has completed its sampling of private drinking water wells in Dimock, Pa. Data previously supplied to the agency by residents, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Cabot Oil and Gas Exploration had indicated the potential for elevated levels of water contaminants in wells, and following requests by residents EPA took steps to sample water in the area to ensure there were not elevated levels of contaminants. Based on the outcome of that sampling, EPA has determined that there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency.

[…]Overall during the sampling in Dimock, EPA found hazardous substances, specifically arsenic, barium or manganese, all of which are also naturally occurring substances, in well water at five homes at levels that could present a health concern. In all cases the residents have now or will have their own treatment systems that can reduce concentrations of those hazardous substances to acceptable levels at the tap. EPA has provided the residents with all of their sampling results and has no further plans to conduct additional drinking water sampling in Dimock.

So, if you want to worry about fracking, it will have to be because of something other than facts. We have facts piled on facts piled on facts, and they all say that fracking is a great way for us to get cheap, clean energy that doesn’t pollute the environment or contaminate our water supply. You have to be anti-science to doubt this data. Democrats do oppose fracking. They don’t know about the science, they just oppose it because that’s what’s in the popular culture, in Hollywood movies, etc. We have to fight them with the science. Democrats are the anti-science party, so don’t expect this to alter their rhetoric.

EPA: Obama’s energy plan raises electricity rates but has no effect on climate

Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015
Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015

This article from Investors Business Daily. It talks about Obama’s plan to save the planet from global warming. The plan is called the “Clean Power Plan”.

Excerpt:

Unveiled in August, this sweeping regulation will force states to slash their carbon dioxide emissions by between 7% and 48%, potentially costing families and businesses some $366 billion in higher electricity costs over the next 15 years. Yet EPA-funded models show that it will have no detectable impact on climate, if it has any impact at all.

E&E Legal unearthed documents showing systemic collusion to promote this scheme. The coordination involves the White House, state governors and attorneys general, and a host of nongovernmental organizations affiliated with “major environmental donors” — especially billionaire Tom Steyer.

The campaign quietly began in December 2013, when the White House met with aides to Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif.; Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.; and then-Gov. John Kitzhaber, D-Ore. (Kitzhaber has since resigned following revelations about his office’s unethical conduct while promoting green energy policies.)

They wanted to ensure that states governed by Republicans felt significant pressure to implement this dubious federal mandate. They even hoped to “compel” utility companies operating across blue and red state lines to bring Republicans around.

This plan required hiring so-called “orchestrators” in key states. These positions, underwritten by private benefactors, would be “closely tied to each governor.” Their ultimate goal was to organize state-based campaigns involving renewable-energy companies, nongovernmental organizations, state officeholders and more.

As the White House wrote at the time, “We’ve got a few other tracks with private sector and unusual allies.” They included an extended campaign to enlist public officeholders beyond coastal liberal enclaves — the “flyover states,” as one email called them. More than a dozen governors’ offices were brought on board. Some are particularly surprising.

For example, Kentucky’s governor is now on record publicly saying that the president’s plan would be economically “disastrous,” yet the documents show his office among the “core group” and one of five that “welcomed quiet engagement” but couldn’t “commit … publicly.”

Other states keeping their interest under wraps included Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Tennessee.

Wow. If the global warming alarmists at the EPA don’t think that Obama’s plan will do anything to the climate, then why would we raise our own electricity rates to achieve nothing? What is most striking to me is some of the supposedly red states that are showing interest in this crap sandwich. Tennessee? Arkansas? Those two states have Republican governors. What is going on here?

Supreme Court rules against EPA’s job-killing tax on electricity

Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015
Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015

If you have to pay your own electricity bill out of your own earnings, then I have some good news for you.

The Daily Signal has the story.

Excerpt:

Today, the Supreme Court in Michigan v. EPA held that the Environmental Protection Agency improperly ignored costs when it decided to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants. The court, in this 5-4 opinion, struck down this extremely costly rule, known as Utility MACT or Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, which applies to power plants, the EPA administrator shall regulate if the regulation is found to be “appropriate and necessary.” According to the EPA, they didn’t have to consider cost when deciding to regulate, even though the statute specifically says that the regulation has to be “appropriate.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, explained, “[a]gainst the backdrop of this established administrative practice [consideration of cost], it is unreasonable to read an instruction to an administrative agency to determine whether ‘regulation is appropriate and necessary’ as an invitation to ignore costs.”

The EPA was going to ignore an astonishing amount of costs. The EPA estimated the costs to be $9.6 billion annually. This compared to benefits of $4 million to $6 million annually. As pointed out by Scalia, “[t]he costs to power plants were thus between 1,600 and 2,400 times as great as the quantifiable benefits from reduced emissions of hazardous air pollutants.” As the court succinctly explained, “[n]o regulation is ‘appropriate’ if it does significantly more harm than good.”

Unfortunately, energy prices are still going to go up, and jobs are still going to be lost as a result of previous EPA regulations.

The Stream says:

While this is a major legal win for the coal industry, it may have come too late. Power plant operators have already slated to retire 13 gigawatts of coal-fired power by the end of this year. Coal plant owners also must ready themselves to comply with upcoming ozone and greenhouse gas regulations.

Well, it’s been a rough week, but we have to take our victories where we can. A win’s a win. Hopefully, the next President will abolish the EPA and the Department of Energy entirely, so that those clowns have to get real jobs doing something useful for a change.