"Behold, I am sending you forth as sheep among wolves.
Be therefore wise as serpents and innocent as doves."
A personal 'mission statement.'
I see myself as called as a teacher to help prepare those students whom God has put in my trust - by helping them discover the particular role God has called or commissioned them to perform as servant-leaders, and to prepare them to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves in carrying out that commission.The two paths.
I am a teacher - though mostly in the style of a preacher (and vice versa: I teach when I preach and I preach when I teach). When called to speak about what I know to be true I have but one thought in mind: to invite others to consider with me the world that lays at our feet - with the choice before us to either approach it God's way or man's way.Recovering a 'Christian political science.'
I am one who rather late in life came to understand the world we inhabit in Biblical terms. I have become a 'Christian political scientist.' Over time I grew increasingly amazed at how the Bible – especially the Jewish Scriptures or 'Old Testament' – speaks so powerfully about the social condition of man ... the heart of social dynamics that pose themselves to all humans, Americans, Jews, Persians, Greeks, Romans - or whomever.Then God showed up.
Through a marvelous set of circumstances, I began to discover that the greatest of all political science textbooks, far above all others, happened to be the Bible. I quickly recognized that the God who created the universe according to a precise set of principles we call 'physics,' 'chemistry' and 'biology' had also created the principles for human life as well. We were biological creatures. But we were more than that. We were complex creatures of a free will and tremendous mental capacity - given this biological principle largely, it seems, to be able to be the one thing in creation able to share with God in the glory of all creation.
What I have finally come to understand as the basic differences in the world views that have surrounded my life:
a steadily progressive picture of human social development or evolution in which man moves toward utopian perfection by acquiring greater enlightenment and consequently greater justice and prosperity; history moves ‘naturally’ forward toward such perfection ... though it will move more rapidly if man is put under the guidance of ‘scientists’ who better understand the dynamic of this process
an endless cycle of the rise and fall of societies as they go through natural periods of birth, growth, maturity, decline and death – in accordance with the strength of their collective spirit; it is this collective spirit, not merely the material elements of power that determine the true strength of any society in its rise and fall; material strength follows spiritual strength; the actors change through history but human nature does not
the outworking of God’s plan to have a human audience to share with him the glory of the works of creation; man’s participation is free thus problematic: initially man humbly seeks fellowship with God ... until he thinks he knows the deal then become arrogant and ignores the vital relationship with God that defines his social success and failure; failure forces God to decide to redeem him from his folly ... or not
generous and loving ... unless this instinct is perverted by the greed
of a reactionary ruling class (or
an entire reactionary social order) which suppresses man's good will by filling his mind with superstitions, myths and lies.
|instinctively self-interested; combines effectively in social groups in recognizing (through education and social ritual) the improved means of satisfying self interest in acting socially or ‘collectively’ with others||instinctively self-interested (sinful) ... unless by the mystery of God’s grace instructed, disciplined and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live to the ideals of Jesus Christ loving both God and fellow man|
|Society||an assembly of loving individuals who freely form a happy commune ... or who would if the social environment itself were freed from the grip of a social order which exploits the common people; the best society is one which is formed freely on a purely voluntary, communal basis (democracy)||a community which collectivizes the self interest of its members into a more effective single unit of ‘interest,’ which better serve the personal interests of its members; but also having a corporate life of its own and thus naturally pursuing its own ‘national interest’||a community which restrains an individual’s selfish behavior by instructing and directing it toward the more transcendent and enduring interests of God and fellow man; contains a balance of social discipline and personal freedom|
|Traditional ethos (acquired through parental guidance and social education) is a set of cultural traditions and norms that actually hold back the free development of human potential; a new ethos of personal freedom to think and act independently outside of tradition is the most progressive social ethos - one taught to society by ‘progressive’ elite||a set of cultural traditions and norms (acquired through parental guidance and social education) that help fit the individual into an effective social unit and thus able to act more efficiently and powerfully as a single political force – defending the ‘national interest’||a set of Judeo-Christian traditions and norms (acquired initially through parental guidance and social education) founded on God’s Word to His people that help them understand broadly what it is that God expects of us; but the individual still must approach God personally (in study and prayer) to learn of God's precise personal requirements|
|Leaders||those who possess ‘scientific’ enlightenment which helps them see beyond antiquated social norms and thus be better able to direct society toward a more progressive or utopian future||those whose
personal strength has brought them to positions of authority and responsibility
where they merge social interest with their personal interest, to the glory
– or detriment –
|those whose words and actions serve as a visible encourager to society’s members to live up to society’s highest social standards, as that society faces the challenges of its own life and death|
The American way.
I am through and through an American, loving deeply the great Anglo-American cultural legacy that has been ours for 400 years - though I have lived, studied and worked abroad much of my life and find compelling reasons to be deeply impressed with the cultures of other peoples as well. I truly appreciate and celebrate the accomplishments of other cultures: European, Middle Eastern, and Asian in particular. I enjoy exploring the philosophies, arts and life histories that they generated over countless centuries.The call to restore America's forgotten Christian political legacy.
I today teach not only as a matter of great pleasure, but also as a matter of great urgency. Somewhere along the way America chose to forget that this country was founded by people who understood clearly the principles of Christian 'political science' and who, well equipped with this wisdom, boldly brought our nation to greatness - against great adversity. The Puritan New Englanders of the early 1600s who carved 'Yankee' America out of the forests of America understood these divine principles of political science very well. They worked consciously in accordance with the laws and the ever-revealing will of God to build 'a city upon a hill.' 150 years later, the Fathers of our hard-fought independence and the world's first truly lasting democracy also were well aware of these principles of God's political science - quick to affirm that nothing of America's new experiment in national democracy would ever work apart from the people's continuing awareness of the overriding or ultimate supervision or judgments of God.The need to free the sense of "soul" from its bondage to 'mechanism.'
I am old enough (I just entered my 70s) to remember when America was not what it has become today. I remember when 'America' referred to its people, its homes, its local communities, its countryside and cities - and not essentially its Washington, D.C., government, as it seems to today. I remember when America was stirred to action through the popular appeal of charismatic leaders, able to inspire the volunteer spirit in Americans to do the right thing. I remember America when it was not run by faceless social programmers or 'managers' such as those today who have come to assume the responsibilities of life for us so that we are now left 'free' merely to pursue life's many 'entitlements.' I remember America before multitudinous insurance programs and battalions of lawyers.The need to recover a deep sense of social responsibility and moral integrity.
I remember when we were led by 'the Greatest Generation' – before we became socially lazy and culturally vulgar. I remember when life focused on family rather than personal profession, when we lived in communities, when we faced our social problems and tried to overcome them rather than escape them. I remember when schooling was focused on 'education' - or the cultivation of wisdom - rather than on vocational or professional 'training' (it is important to understand the difference between education and training: you can 'train' dogs but you cannot 'educate' them; dictatorships train their people but dare not educate them). I remember life before SATs and ACTs. I also remember when character counted more than celebrity as the measure of a person. And most importantly, I remember when piety was a trait we esteemed and not despised as some form of bigotry.The need for great American leaders.
So I teach - and preach. I teach the youth who will be America's leaders of tomorrow. I teach them not just facts. I teach them about life's problems - and its long-standing solutions. I tell them stories about situations similar to ours today (history!). I teach them about great individuals whose sense of destiny shaped huge social outcomes - both good and bad. I teach them the value of bravery and the tragedy of arrogance. I teach them about the sources and possibilities of social power - and the great accompanying dangers if not handled well. Most of all, I teach them about the rules or laws of human life, individual and social, that God set out for us, rules and laws that must never be disregarded, just as with any other laws in Creation. With respect to the ways of the world, I teach them to be wise as serpents.The path to greatness.
I teach them to be Alpha males and females - but 'Alpha' only as Jesus showed us what it means to be 'Alpha' - for Jesus was/is the ultimate Alpha (and Omega). The Alpha person is the servant to all - as Jesus was the servant to all. Service to others above concern for self - the makings of a true warrior or one of the greatest of leaders - is what I teach them. I stress again and again the importance of surrendering self to such service - in order to receive in exchange a greatness of character that produces the true leader.The 'teachings' offered on this website.
I do not propose to offer on these web pages the complete picture or even significant portions of what I teach. What I teach can be learned only through actual personal contact - in class or wherever. What is posted here is some small portion of those teachings - a factual backup of sorts. However it is wisdom and not just mere knowledge, character and not just mere fact, that ultimately is what my teaching strives to pass on to my students (and what my students pass back to me in exchange) - something very much alive, something that cannot be found on these pages.