Although tradition does not rule our interpretation, it does guide it. If upon reading a particular passage you have come up with an interpretation that has escaped the notice of every other Christian for two thousand years, or has been championed by universally recognized heretics, chances are pretty good that you had better abandon your interpretation (R.C. Sproul, The Agony of Deceit, 34-35).
What is the difference?
Scripture alone, sola Scriptura, is not the same as Scripture only, solo Scriptura.1 To put it in other terms, to say that Scripture alone is the only rule of faith and practice – or as the Westminster Catechism says, “is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him” – is quite different than to say that only Scripture is the guide to all truth.
A power struggle among Ukraine’s ultra-nationalists looms on the horizon. The Nazi problem has only increased since 2022 and must be addressed. Although it sounds cruel, self-cleansing is the ideal way.
In a recent 60 Minutes Interview, the interviewer and and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made several dubious claims. In the “following video”: https://youtu.be/-cw3gulknl0 I debunk several points.
The domino theory. Putin plans to conquer the whole of Europe.
Putin is not the enemy. The enemy is the whole of the Russian people who support Putin.
Russia bombs civilians and commits war crimes. Ukraine does not. Ukraine does not hit civilian targets in Russia with drones. If they do, they have a right to.
If only the West had given Ukraine more weapons they would have defeated Russia. Now the whole world has to unite to defeat Russia to avoid (or cause?) WWIII.
The war (and cocaine addiction?) has taken a toll on Zelensky.
Russia (1.3 million troops) and Ukraine (500,000) have no professional army left.
Putin will go on threatening nuclear war. (He’s never done so in any speech or statement.)
The interviewer asks about Ukraine negotiating in exchange for land. (Zelensky had a law passed forbidding negotiations with Putin.)
The most outrageous statement was to say that neither Russia nor Ukraine have any professional troops left. This is just beyond irresponsible reporting.
Looking at the struggle between the liberal west and the nations of Russia and China, it is easy to get swept up into the hype of the “good vs. evil” narrative. As Christians, we need to see God’s providence in all of it in advancing the kingdom. A big part of this will need to be clearing the legacy media’s smokescreens. How can we discern reality from false narratives?
My thesis is that the western liberal globalism will fail and civilization states will emerge in its place in a multipolar world within the next few years. It is happening more quickly than I first imagined. Just yesterday, lasting peace was achieved in the Middle East. This is something we haven’t seen in centuries. The liberals must applaud this while simultaneously and hypocritically condemning the “bad actors” we were at war with just a few days ago. But how can we resist? The US neocons and neoliberals can’t afford to wage war against the direction of the whole world.
Soon we will see a big shift in the Liberal narrative concerning the Ukraine conflict.
There are nearly as many definitions of Liberalism and Modernism as there are forms of propaganda in the wide world. As the Church uses these terms, however, they may be roughly defined as follows:
Liberalism: The belief that the human person is the ultimate source of freedom and goodness, and so must be emancipated not only from restrictive political and social systems but from the Church, religion and even God Himself. Thus liberalism is above all a spiritual rebellion that is almost inevitably combined with Modernism.
Modernism: The belief that human culture, as the lens through which reality is generally perceived, is actually determinative of truth, such that all convictions must be adapted to satisfy the values of contemporary culture. In practice, this will always be the dominant culture, that is, the fashionable culture of the elites who have the greatest power to form public opinion.
Perhaps the most obvious thing about the combination of these two terms is the following paradox: Once liberals begin to regard human emancipation in terms of Modernism, they necessarily embrace regulatory and even totalitarian political mechanisms to ensure that everyone is properly “liberated”. The State becomes the surrogate for God, but unlike God, the State does not respect human freedom. ~ Dr. Jeff Mirus, In a nutshell: Liberalism and Modernism
The mistake of Liberalism is the idea that we have individual rights. We do not. We have human rights based on God’s Creation ordinances (Genesis 1-3) and the positive affirmations of the Ten Commandments.
Commandments #1-3. The right to worship the one true God and revere His name as holy
Commandment #4. The right to rest on the Sabbath and freedom from perpetual bondage and slavery
Commandment #5. The right to bear and raise children to respect God and parents
Commandment #6. The right to life
Commandment #7. The right to be married to one spouse of the opposite sex and preserve the sanctity of marriage
Commandment #8. The right to get wealth and property, the right to work
Commandment #9. All rights pertaining to a fair trial when accused of sin (church) or a crime (civil).
Commandment #10. The right to work in the pursuit of property lawfully without being subject to guile or conspiracy (not just the pursuit of happiness, but the pursuit of property).
Thus all human rights are Law related. In turn, all biblical laws are based on one of the Creation ordinances — the first principles.
Why the US Does Not Want the Ukraine War to End is a fair treatment of the complex history of the Russia-Ukraine saga over the past 30 years. I recommend this video highly. I don’t agree with every point this YouTuber makes, but it is well-produced and more cogent and succinct than anything I have seen for its length. It is either a good primer or a refresher depending on your knowledge level of the Ukraine conflict. The thesis of the video is that this is a war the West wanted. NATO wanted a pro-western government in Ukraine, not to help Ukrainians, but to weaken and break up Russia. Therefore, the Western alliance does not want the war to end until this is accomplished. At the same time, the video does not whitewash the motivations and actions of Russia, but suggests that Putin’s actions are not those of a madman, but those of a reasonable president trying to protect Russia’s interests. The video rightly points out that America used our own military force to prevent Soviet influence near our borders many times in the past.
I have been to Russia and Ukraine 12 times since 1991. I learned about each of the Ukrainian presidential elections both through the news and firsthand conversations with Ukrainians. I was initially supportive of the Orange Revolution in 2004, which eventually brought Viktor Yushchenko to power. It seemed to be a people’s movement, but in truth both presidents on either side of that conflict, Yushchenko and Yanukovych, ended up being incredibly corrupt. I also followed the changes after 2014 to the current Euro-Maidan presidents, Poroshenko and Zelenskyy, and the beginning of the war in the Donbas regions. The common denominator is that each president promised to end corruption in Ukraine and better the economic situation. Each invariably ended up being at least as corrupt as his predecessor.