King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (22)


David and Uriah – Rembrandt

King David and Bathsheba (2)

The Attempted Coverup: 2 Samuel 11:6-13

David’s initial attempt to coverup his sin seeks the least destructive path.  However, he has started down a dark, dangerous road that, if followed, will lead to ever greater levels of sin.

So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.

Note that the scope of David’s sin went far beyond adultery.  As the King he was the “commander in chief” of the army.  Thus, while Uriah was in the field of battle David had used this absence to enable his elicit liaison with Bathsheba.  Thus, David had utterly corrupted his military and political authority as well.

Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.

10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”

Note that it is Uriah’s honor that defeats David’s coverup.

12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.

dangerous-pathDavid has done everything in his power to deceive Uriah into sleeping with his wife.  But, since he must exercise this power in the shadows there are powerful limitations on what he can say and do.  David’s sin has thus led him down a road of degradation and powerlessness.  He is now in a terrible, dark place; lost within the shame and lies of the situation that he has created for himself.

This is his last chance to turn back before he has done something utterly irrevocable from the perspective of worldly consequences.


King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (21)

tissot-david-sees-bathheba-bathing-640x459King David and Bathsheba (1)

The Adultery: 2 Samuel 11:1-5

In chapters 8-10 King David consolidates his position internally through wise policies and externally through military victories.  He thus, perhaps for the first time in his adulthood, has room to enjoy life’s pleasures.  Sin’s ingenuity within us is terrifyingly exposed in what follows.  For, it leverages what is at the very beginning an “innocent” desire into a vile, hellish experience that appears to shake the very foundation of God’s eternal decree concerning David and his family.

John Calvin placed the monumental issue that this event raises in it’s proper context.

To have a clear apprehension of their meaning, it is necessary that we reflect upon the covenant which God had made with David. The salvation of the whole world having been in a certain sense deposited with him by this covenant, the enemies of religion might take occasion to exclaim upon his fall, “Here is the pillar of the Church gone, and what is now to become of the miserable remnant whose hopes rested upon his holiness? Once nothing could be more conspicuous than the glory by which he was distinguished, but mark the depth of disgrace to which he has been reduced! Who, after so gross a fall, would look for salvation from his seed?”

John Calvin’s Commentary on Psalms – Volume 2; Psalm 51:4

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

This is where the moral disaster began.  David’s flesh desired far more than rest from battle, it sought reward for the years of violence and terror that he had experienced.  But, at the beginning, he likely thought of this dereliction as a minor but well deserved and innocent respite.

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba,the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

Had David only looked away!  But, as frail flesh and blood he experienced what we all have when we purposefully choose to lie, gossip, lust, covet, hate and blaspheme, among so many others sins.  Is there a Biblical statement with more empirical evidence in support than the Apostle Paul’s from Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

consequencesKing David used his power to act on his sinful desires.  Here he made the mistake so common to those who wield power in this world: yes, he could turn a desire into a concrete act, but he could not control the consequences of that very same act.  Those consequences only began with Bathsheba’s illicit pregnancy.  They would not end until David’s kingship, family and nation had been torn into bloody shreds.

King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (20)

john 16-33God’s Promise to David (4)

David’s Prayer: 2 Samuel 7:25-29

Following is how King David concludes his prayer in response to the LORD God’s promise.

25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.

27 Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”

In the above first paragraph, in which David pleas for God’s keeping of the promise, he makes no appeal based upon his or his family’s future performance.  He rather bases his plea in the only possible place for a human addressing God; that being God’s own sovereign choice.  It is only because God’s sovereign character is to keep His promises that King David can hope for continuance.

In the concluding paragraph of this mighty prayer we find all of the preceding themes summarized and finalized.  In humility, thankfulness and confidence in God alone this elect human being concludes a prayer which is a foundation stone for our Christian faith and all of the goodness that has flowed therefrom.


More like this …

I must return to the question raised in the previous post.


…than like this?!

That being, how is it that (for many contemporary people), with David’s life story more closely resembling the character Max from “The Road Warrior” than Rev. Maclean from “A River Runs Through It,” he could have prayed such a humble, profound prayer?

Although I’ve already rejected this cultural context, I yet understand how those far more immersed in Hollywood than in God’s Word could find themselves utterly bewildered by this turn of events.  To them, it’s as if Max, at the end of the movie had received God’s eternal blessing and had bowed down to say such a prayer in response.  And, yes, if this is your frame of reference then the two thoughts are indeed seemingly irreconcilable.

The first response is to point out that, even in the not too distant past, there was not necessarily a contradiction between the doing of violence and the having of virtue.  For example, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Winston Churchill waged bloody, brutal total war on the Axis Powers in World War II with the understanding that their doing so fell well within the bounds of Christian virtue.  The same could be said of Abraham Lincoln and


General George Washington at prayer.

George Washington, among many, many others.  Even in the very recent past, President Obama, a professing Christian, waged lethal drone warfare on Islamic terrorists (my phrase, not his) and maintained a significant military presence in Afghanistan.  My point is that we are wading in a shallow moral pool indeed by pretending that violence and virtue are necessarily opposites (though in civilized circumstances they usually are).

But there is another far more fundamental factor at play than any past, present or future cultural context.  That factor is the LORD God Himself entering into David’s life with sanctifying power.  Just as He did with Abraham, Moses, Peter and Paul (among so many others) — all of whom were frail, fallen flesh — God yet used them for his sovereign purposes as they engaged with this fallen world, which sometimes led to great and small acts of violence.

For a godless man, participation in violence creates arrogance, pride and the lust for more of the same.  However, for a man saved through Christ by the Holy Spirit, the tragic necessity for violence is intended to create conditions in which wicked people will not oppress them anymore (2 Samuel 7:10).


Sam Gamgee returns home after defeating evil.

This tragic necessity of warfare to open up the potential for peaceful, virtuous life is beautifully explained in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Sam Gamgee, a Hobbit who has experienced war, terrors, ultimate evil and, finally, victory returns home to his beloved family.

“But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.
He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said”


It is absolutely clear that this peaceful purpose is what all of the terrible sacrifice had been ultimately about.  It’s frustrating to see so many people in the United States who live in the peace purchased by past and current sacrifice showing no understanding of or thankfulness for this blessing.

So, the redeemed man David, after he had for years, fled, hid, fought and killed, learned the humility, thankfulness and trust in God that enabled such a prayer to be said.  He learned that, apart from God, he could do nothing.  Although David, by his wits and prowess overcame all of his enemies, under the Holy Spirit’s tutelage he came to that Reformed realization that banishes pride and arrogance; cowardice and passivity.

I am the heart, He is the heartbeat
I am the eyes, He is the sight
And I see clearly, I am just a body
He is the life
I move my feet, I go through the motions
But He gives purpose to chance
I am the dancer
He is the Lord of the dance
Steven Curtis Chapman – Lord Of The Dance Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Does the preceding discussion answer all questions and solve all problems associated with violence in the Bible?  Certainly not.  However, I do hope that it begins to open up paths of inquiry that will allow us to properly integrate these troubling passages into a coherent, comprehensive understanding of God’s Word.


King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (19)

praying-israeliteGod’s Promise to David (3)

David’s Prayer: 2 Samuel 7:18-24

What will be King David’s response to this gracious, eternal promise from the LORD God?  Could there be a more clear case for self-congratulation and boasting than had David at this point in time?  After all, the LORD God had purposefully chosen him to be king, and had shown His favor across the years of struggle necessary to reach this point.  And David himself had, through his wisdom and prowess, overcome all his enemies, both internal and external to the nation.

David had participated in banditry and bloody combat, with easily thousands of human deaths either directly or indirectly caused by his actions.  At this point might not a person with this on his conscience be overwhelmingly tempted to respond in self-justification?  That is, to turn God’s blessing to his own purposes, to absolve himself of guilt.

And yet, this is how King David actually did begin his prayerful response.

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!

20 “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.

22 “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.

I must ask, in this current time of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (et al.) self-promotion, self-congratulation, self-absorption; can there be anything more foreign than this beginning of King David’s prayer?  No.  For this elect soul, this victor over all adversity and adversaries, this bloodied warrior points always and only away from himself and towards the LORD God.

However, there’s a deeper problem that prevents many contemporary people from giving David an open-minded hearing.  That being David is the exact opposite of everything that they believe to comprise morality.  In the view of many David is a far closer to (if not actually being) a war criminal than to a man after God’s own heart.  Thus, the fact that Holy Scripture lifts up this particular man can actually undermine their confidence.  In the next post I will directly address this difficult issue.

For today let’s, as Christians, be clear on the fundamental point.  Regardless of our own feelings, knowledge and opinions, David’s story is in the Word of God.  We do not judge it, nor does our personal sense of morality supersede it.  God has placed it in His Word for our benefit.  Yes, we should first seek guidance from the Holy Spirit in prayer and then use all of our God-given gifts to properly interpret and apply it to our life and times.  But, we Christians must stand with David, a God-chosen pillar of our faith in saying.

“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”

Humility, thankfulness, and submission to an external, eternal sovereign LORD God…

30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 

(1 Corinthians 1:30,31, NIV)

King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (18)

God’s Promise to David (2)

2 Samuel 7:11b-17

“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you:12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

17 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.

Significant ambiguity occurs in this passage due to the mixing of the temporal and eternal perspectives.  On the eternal side, in verse 16 God appears to be speaking about the Messianic kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ taught that He was the eternal temple of God in Mark 14:58 and John 2:19.  On the temporal side, God speaks about His relationship with David’s offspring, who are certain to sin.

I do not presume to be able to untangle the temporal and eternal aspects of this prophecy.  Rather, my intention is to focus on King David’s response to it, which will be taken up in the next post.


King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (17)


Gerard van Honthorst – King David Playing the Harp

God’s Promise to David (1)

We here turn from David the warrior to David the poet.  However, note well that in the following passage, in which God’s purposes for David and his house are made clear, it is God’s support of David the warrior that has opened the opportunity for David the poet to prosper.

2 Samuel 7:1-11a

After terrible struggle, terrors and heartache, David is now the King.

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”

King David feels a sense of guilt because his home is far more impressive than that provided for the ark of God.  Nathan’s reply is based on a general principle which appears to be certainly established by events.

But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

The Lord God corrects Nathan’s error.  Note that His point is that David’s intention is based upon his own thoughts rather than on God’s Word to him.

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you.

God is not here speaking in ephemeral metaphors.  The “cutting off” of David’s enemies including King Saul, opposing Israelites and foreign foes has occurred by bloody, deadly conflict.  David and his followers dealt out death and destruction by their own hands.  At some points God intervened to cause death.

Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

Far from finding fault in David, God begins to explain His purposes for David’s life and reign.  God intends to make David’s name “great, like the names of the greatest men on earth.”  That is, David and his reign as king over Israel will be known far into the future as a sign and symbol of God’s purposes through the Israelis.

Through the decisive victories in open warfare here on this fallen earth, God has created the space for Israel and its king to be planted with deep roots of religious, and cultural tradition.  For a time they will be free from oppression by the external forces of wickedness.

This is a precious gift.  In these ancient times peoples generally lived deep in the shadow of imminent death and destruction.  Thus, their time and energy was almost completely consumed by the requirements for physical survival.  Here God is allowing the nation of Israel rest from those terrible challenges.  Thus, space has been made for King David the poet to, by the Spirit’s leading, to create the Psalms that will guide and encourage God’s people throughout all succeeding history.

King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (16)

Accepting My Own Limitations

David’s story consumes half of 1 Samuel, all of 2 Samuel and the opening of 1 Kings.  Given that just the first three chapters of David’s story have consumed fifteen posts, I estimate that complete coverage would consume between 150 and 200 additional posts.  I’m doubtful that I could continue to deliver commentary that doesn’t become boring (or, perhaps more honestly, more boring) and repetitive.

So, by accepting my own limitations in this effort, my plan is to cover only the following Scriptural passages.  My emphasis is on King David the poet, though there will be one important excursion into King David the sinner.  Following is my plan of coverage:

  • 2 Samuel 7 – God’s Promise to David and David’s Prayer
  • 2 Samuel 11 – David and Bathsheba
  • 2 Samuel 12 – Nathan Rebukes David
  • 2 Samuel 22 – David’s Song of Praise
  • 2 Samuel 23:1-7 – The Last Words of David

As you can see, I’m jumping from 1 Samuel 18 to 2 Samuel 7, which amounts to 20 chapters!  A tremendous and wonderful narrative concerning David’s pursuit by King Saul, rise to Kinghood and early reign is thus being skipped over.

However, it is my hope that the above selected passages will enable David’s story to be roughed out and God’s purposes explored.

King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (15)


Because I’m the most moral and brilliant person ever!

King Saul and David (1 Samuel 18)

Recall that we’re exploring the issue of narcissism as it relates to outrage over this passage.

27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king

The Delusion Behind Narcissism

I’d like to ask those who believe that they live at (or even near) the pinnacle of human morality to take a leap of imagination.  Imagine if you dare, that it is 50, 100, 200 years from now.  Over this time events have occurred that were unforeseeable from today’s available information.  New generations of humanity have experienced economic challenge, social change, armed conflict, religious transformations and personal trauma.


Wow, I’m so awesome!  Everyone else will have to agree when I’m deciding who lives and dies under single payer health insurance!

Thus, these future people, who have no connection with or allegiance to you, occupy the social commanding heights.  They therefore may well independently assess the policies that you pursued, the opinions that you voiced, the ways that you lived and the real world consequences that flowed from them all.  Do you really believe that they will certainly conclude that yes, your generation did indeed occupy the pinnacle of human morality!


You dare to disagree with ME!

Or, might these future generations look upon you like you look upon David or our founding fathers, or any of the other past and present humans that you so contemptuously judge as evil and moronic?  Let me explain why you might be wise to learn a little humility.


There is already a very large number of people (women and men, including me) who consider abortion to be the outright killing of another human being.  If you test the DNA of a brand new fetus it won’t come back as a salamander or tomato, but as human.  With the advancement of ultrasound technology parents are seeing at an early stage of development that the fetus is a tiny human being.  And, since Roe v. Wade, approximately 59 million of these human beings have been killed in the United States.

There’s also, for Christians, the unavoidable fact that God sees the fetus as a valued, beloved human of His creation (Psalm 139).

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

And yet today’s Progressive elite considers abortion to be their ideology’s “holy of holies.”  Thus, all aspects of abortion on demand are enabled, supported and protected with unmitigated fierceness.

Therefore the powers that be ensured that the sickening, murderous (of grown women and their babies) activities of a psychopath like Dr. Kermit Gosnell were allowed to go on for years, and then be utterly ignored when they finally come to light.  Although the 200 foreskins acquired by David in open warfare is roundly condemned, Gosnell’s collection of jared baby feet is demurely uncommented upon.


Look away, look away…nothing to see here!


She didn’t really say this…disjointed words were just spliced together to make it appear so!

Or take the case of Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling aborted baby parts.  Yes, the legions of like-minded reporters, editors, celebrities and politicians will keep alive the fairy tale that these admissions from the mouths of Planned Parenthood executives were the product of falsification through editing.  However, anyone who has the interest to check will find clearly uncut videos covering tens of minutes in which these Planned Parenthood leaders speak without the slightest shame about doing these horrors.

But that’s not the end of it by a long shot.  Perhaps our elites should consider the implications of their beloved “disparate effect” theory of racial discrimination.  By this theory, if any statistical deviation between a race’s proportion of the population and any measure of social benefit can be found then the prima facie explanation is the existence of racial discrimination.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 6.29.59 AM

No “disparate effect” to be seen here!

But what if we look at abortion rates through this lens?  The undisputed fact is that black babies are aborted at almost five-times the rate as are white babies.

Given all of the above, what if, say 50 years from now, an entirely new group controls our media who have no interest in protecting the institution of abortion on demand?  Perhaps there have been such massive civilizational changes that a completely new set of issues has top priority.  Might not these media gate-keepers take a critical view of those who so enthusiastically enabled and protected abortion on demand?  Might not black scholars and reporters begin to ask just why the elites of the early 2000’s made such stinks about university admission rates but covered up abortion rates?

Perhaps, in shock and disgust at this sordid behavior, portraits will be taken down, building names will be changed and past champions of virtue will be converted into current examples of the evil past.

Just some food for thought.

Genocidal Totalitarianism


The top-two are just unsuccessful do-gooders while the third is utterly evil.  Let’s keep trying socialism until we finally get it right!  Go Venezuela!

I have already made a comprehensive case concerning the support of our elites for genocidal totalitarian ideologies (see here for a summary).  At some future time the flimsy excuse of “good intentions” may have been so throughly discredited that the general public takes notice of the enablers, supporters and “useful idiots” who ensured that these ideologies were free to wreck havoc on humanity for far longer than should have been the case.

They might point to the current economic and social collapse of socialist Venezuela into  wanton violence as a “red flag” that should have, finally, cured the Progressive elites of their fantasies.  But, the fact that they continued to soldier on in behalf of this murderous, failed ideology may someday count against them.  After all, covering up for tens of millions of corpses and hundreds of millions of ruined lives can be unsustainable in the long run.

The Welfare State

After abortion on demand, the current institution with the most support from our Progressive elite class is the welfare state.  It has, over the generations, grown into an interlocking complex of governmental programs (with the associated army of bureaucrats), non-profit organizations, political parties, religious denominations and community organizers that is all focused on one thing: continuance of the welfare state exactly as it is.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 7.57.47 AMBut, future generations, after having possibly experienced a financial catastrophe brought on by unsustainable government spending (certainly not just on the welfare state) might look back on these programs with a more critical eye than is today allowed.  For example, they may look at the nearby graph, on which is plotted the national poverty rate and total anti-poverty spending, and be appalled.  Note also that the 1964 start of “the war on poverty” is shown.  There are three characteristics of this figure that is of primary relevance, those being:

  1. The poverty rate was already falling quickly for at least 15 years prior to the start of “the war on poverty”
  2. The slope of the decline of poverty was not increased by the “war” (i.e., the new anti-poverty spending didn’t significantly improve an already occurring process)
  3. Since 1970, there has been no appreciable change in the poverty rate despite trillions of dollars spent by the “best and brightest,” “morally superior” poverty industrial complex.

Pov-spendingThis discussion hasn’t yet included the human and social wreckage wrought by the Welfare State, where entire communities descended into generations of broken families, hopelessness, violence, addiction, and yes, poverty.

One would have thought that our moral betters would have been so appalled by this situation that a massive effort at reformation and renewal would have been pursued.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Rather, the poverty industrial complex has been on a unending campaign to prevent any reform and to expand failed policies to new areas of our society.

What if, after a couple more generations of soul crushing hopelessness the supposed beneficiaries of the Welfare State reject both the policies and motivations of the Progressive Left (or perhaps it’s already beginning)?  Or, what if the response is massive civil unrest and violence?  Might not those who today appear to be unassailably moral tomorrow be seen as incompetent fools or heartless hypocrites, or worse?

Isn’t it also possible that the consequences of these decisions will be reappraised in a negative light by the general population?  After all, the money borrowed by the government to fund these and many other ineffective, unsustainable programs are nothing other than promises that future generations will pay for our present excesses.  Regardless of if you are upper middle class or poor in the future, the weight of that massive debt will constrain (or destroy) economic opportunity.

The only hope may be for the Progressive Left to continue blocking education reform to the point that no-one in the future knows how to count.


The progressive advance of our moral and intellectual “betters!”

I know that you too can play this game against me (actually, you have been all my life).  The difference is that I already know that, as a sinner, my thoughts and actions, despite my best attempts, will fall tragically short of moral perfection.  And, since I know this about myself I understand that it’s essential that my ideas be subjected to critical appraisal for anything approaching “the good” to emerge.

Without the constitutional right of free speech there’s no hope that all ideas will be subjected to this essential process.  I guess that’s the reason that it so terrifies our supposed moral and intellectual “betters.”

For there is nothing so frightening to a narcissist than the possibility that their presumed perfection will be exposed as a folly and fraud.  There is simply no length to which they will go, including shameless physical violence, to repulse that threat.  Yes, narcissism permeates every crevice of our society.  But its demons have found a particularly hospitable home in the radical Progressive Left.  Most people today are too intimidated to say this out loud, but in the future that protective cloak may have dissipated to the point that the full force of judgement may be applied.

Perhaps you condemners of David, our Founding Fathers and all the rest of us “deplorables” should begin the painful process of climbing down from your false presumptions of superiority.  Then we can once again begin to address together those intractable issues that so bedevil this fallen world.

King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (14)

King Saul and David (1 Samuel 18)

In the previous post I introduced the concept of narcissism.  Perhaps a working definition is needed prior to  proceeding:

extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.


Echo and Narcissus* – John W. Waterhouse (1903)

The Narcissism of our Present Age

The core conceit of current narcissism is this:

The evidence-less presumption that I and my like-minded comrades stand at the absolute pinnacle of human virtue.  Therefore, anyone who deviates from my worldview, regardless of if they are my contemporaries or lived centuries earlier, can be motivated only by a combination of inexcusable stupidity and evil.

man-selfieAlthough the above description is useful in a general sense, there remains a significant gap between it and a compelling explanation of its application to our particular time and place.  I finally ran across a passage, from a piece discussing the current situation in France (by Christopher Caldwell) that excellently fills this need (emphasis added):

Upwardly mobile urbanites, observes Guilluy, call Paris “the land of possibilities,” the “ideapolis.” One is reminded of Richard Florida and other extollers of the “Creative Class.” The good fortune of Creative Class members appears (to them) to have nothing to do with any kind of capitalist struggle. Never have conditions been more favorable for deluding a class of fortunate people into thinking that they owe their privilege to being nicer, or smarter, or more honest, than everyone else. Why would they think otherwise? They never meet anyone who disagrees with them. The immigrants with whom the creatives share the city are dazzlingly different, exotic, even frightening, but on the central question of our time—whether the global economic system is working or failing—they see eye to eye. “Our Immigrants, Our Strength,” was the title of a New York Times op-ed signed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, New York mayor Bill de Blasio, and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo after September’s terrorist bomb blasts in New York. This estrangement is why electoral results around the world last year—from Brexit to the election of Donald Trump—proved so difficult to anticipate. Those outside the city gates in la France périphérique are invisible, their wishes incomprehensible. It’s as if they don’t exist. But they do.

Yes, there is no doubt in my mind that these “fortunate people” are deluded to a degree that is nothing short of scandalous.  That they occupy the pinnacle of power in our nations can only be explained by a monumental failure of the temporal Christian church, parenthood, government, education and media, among others.  This is what civilizational failure looks like.  In the following post I will address the central delusion that has resulted in this sorry situation.

*Echo and Narcissus is a myth from Ovid‘s Metamorphoses, a Latin mythological epic from the Augustan Age.

King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (13)

David-to-SaulKing Saul and David (1 Samuel 18)

The Thoughtless Outrage

When some contemporary Christians read this passage the reaction is one of visceral outrage.

27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king

These Christians read this troubling description of massacre and mutilation from a presumed position of moral superiority that allows unmitigated disgust at the savagery of this primitive culture.  They also sometimes respond by openly questioning the legitimacy of the Old Testament’s witness.

While I don’t in the slightest argue that this passage isn’t troubling to virtually everyone, Christian or not (including me), I do believe that there is an equally troubling lack of historical context and self-awareness in play.  For, King Saul, David and the entire nation of Israel found themselves enmeshed in a system of zero-sum conflict that existed throughout the ancient world.  To them (and their enemies) this situation of open-ended warfare was just “how this world operates.”  Thus, concepts such as “peaceful coexistence” and “a rising tide lifts all ships” would have been incomprehensible to these ancient peoples.  We have had the benefit of 3,000 years of human experience that they simply did not.

We need not go back 3,000 years to find a similar lack of historical understanding in play.  Consider the currently popular Progressive Leftist drive to discredit and erase the names of our nation’s founding fathers.  Besides the unconscionable fact that they were generally male, the fact that many of them either owned slaves or appeared to be accepting of this horrific institution’s existence is enough to convict them of utter evil.

However, while I totally agree that slavery was (and is) a morally monstrous, reprehensible institution that needed to be eradicated, I can yet understand how our founding fathers could have, within the context of their time, managed to live oblivious to this reality.  For, in their time, slavery was an institution that had existed in human civilization since literally the beginning of known history.  Thus, a person living then could easily have just accepted this moral outrage as something of a given.

I realize that this discussion is very dangerous, given that the cloud of faux moral superiors, disregarding any nuance of thought that doesn’t advance their  ideology, is always poised to attack.   However, someone needs to explain these things or the mad rush to obliterate our entire civilizational heritage will certainly succeed.

Is it possible to, while fully acknowledging that our founding fathers accepted what future generations correctly recognize to be an utterly evil system, yet give great credit to them for founding a nation that aspired to the propositionthat all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness“?  Did not this aspiration, though unrealized at the time (some likely did realize it), not a mere eight decades later fuel the eradication of slavery from the United States through a great and terrible Civil War?

Returning to David, aside from their purposeful disinterest in historical perspective, I think that these outraged Christians are driven by anger that God would have used a flawed man, molded by his own particular environment, as a means for advancing His purposes.  How dare God not miraculously create a person who, 3,000 years ago, lived up to the presumed moral perfection of, who, why themselves!

tornadoThis is the crux of their fury.  As I intend to demonstrate, there is a failure of self-awareness and self-righteousness at work here that literally deforms the human soul.  As a result, all sympathy, curiosity, context and humaneness is crushed down into a hard, cruel core of narcissistic judgmentalism.