Global Christian Perspectives – October 23, 2015

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Topics

Drones 
The US has massively increased drone attacks. And while there may be some room to question the 90% figure, I think the basic point about Drone strikes is valid.  Many conservatives have for some time been critical of this increase for 2 reasons.   A) Loss of innocent life.  Sending in troops is far riskier to the troops but is a much better way to protect innocent life.  B) Lack of intelligence gather ability.  Troops can take people alive so they can be interrogated. They can also pick up documents, computers, etc.
BTW, It is an interesting paradox, for despite saving innocent lives, sending in troops take more time, is riskier, and often generates much more negative media coverage than having a drone fire a missile.   Besides if you do capture the person, what do you do with them?   Still, while it is much easier to simply fire a missile from a drone and be done with it, I believe it is often the less moral choice.
What makes terrorists?
Same article different point.  The massive increase in Drones attacks is making terrorists.  On this I think he is 90% wrong. People throughout history have suffered far worse.  Even today, other people groups are suffering far worse often at the hand of Radical Islam.  Still such terrorism is mainly confined to one segment of Islam.  If you want the real origins of terrorism, I would suggest the book The Looming Towers.
It is pretty clear that if they do not have enough to be outraged by, they will simply make something up as Abbas did recently accusing the Jews of wanted to defile the Al-Aqsa mosque “with their filthy feet” or his eulogizing a 13 year old Palestinian boy as a martyr for being killed after he stabbed a 13 year old Jewish boy who was getting on his bike outside of a candy store as part of the recent wave of knife attacks that is mosque comments have inspired.  A significant problem is that they Palestinian boy was not killed, but is in fact being cared for in a Jewish hospital.  Question: if the situation had been reversed, do you think a Jewish boy who had stabbed a Palestinian would be cared for in a Palestinian hospital?
 Frankly I see things like this as far more disturbing http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5118.htm  as are the ISIS “recruitment” videos showing various means of executions that have unfortunately been successful in attracting large numbers of young people.   (I will not be providing any links to these).
Bottom line: I see radical Islam as a global conflict, whereas he seems to see it as more of a law enforcement issue. I see his approach as akin to seeking to find and arrest the Japanese pilots who attacked Pearl Harbor.  I would also note that the first place we invaded following the attacks on Pearl Harbor was North Africa.  BTW, this is a view I have held since the late 1980s and one of things I would ask people following the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 was whether or not the terrorists  had to come back and destroy the towers before we would begin to take the threat seriously?
Free Trade
 
Steel firms in England are closing, while China is dumping cheap subsided steel on the European market.  To me this is not an issue of free-trade, but of government interference by China in the market place. Subsidized trade is not free trade.  We have similar problems, here with China. One factor to consider is that often this is put solely in terms of jobs. But prices are a factor here. The simple fact the reason most electronics is made outside of the US, (and I would assume England) is that if they were made here, no one could afford them.  Often in the US the issue is not so much wages, as this is frequently cancelled out by productivity and transportation costs, but the cost of regulations and the general doing business in the US.
 
In-depth Segment:  30  mins
For the in-depth segment some from previous weeks.  Please pick one or suggest another.
1)                  The Global Economy.
How do we balance the issues of the differences among nations in a global economy?  I think the biggest problem is a lack of free markets due to factors such as the lack of the rule of law and corruption in so many countries.  But somehow I suspect that Chris will have a different view.

Global Christian Perspectives – October 16, 2015

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Topics:

Government and Mental Health.

 

One of the problems with the focus on Gun Control following the recent shooting, is that in my opinion, it obscures the real problem: Mental health.   The following is an editorial from the Wall Street Journal that highlights not only this problem, but in the process what is wrong with so much of Government, and least in the US.

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mass-shootings-and-a-mental-health-disgrace-1444346679

 

 

A coming problem.

 

I believe this is a going to be a growing problem.   The bottom line is that unions have been able to gain promised benefits that cannot be paid for.  This is even a bigger problem for some states.  In California for example Government employees unions effectively control who will and will not get elected for years and by getting there favored politicians elected have received benefits that far exceed revenues.  Thus CalPERS is currently close to $1 Trillion short of currently promised benefits.

 

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/10/06/senate-moves-ahead-defense-bill-facing-veto-threat.html

 

http://www.breitbart.com/california/2014/04/18/calpers-admits-52-underfunding-on-986-billion-shortfall/

 

Growing Unrest in Israel

 

For the last month unrest has been building in Israel, the most recent being a series of stabbings.

 

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2015/10/13/israel-palestinians-day-of-rage/

 

 

In-depth Segment:  30  mins

 

For the in-depth segment some from previous weeks.  Please pick one or suggest another.

1)                  The Israel Palestinian Conflict

Is there any hope?   I would say no until Islam in general and Palestinians in specific accept the Israel State.

Global Christian Perspectives – October 9, 2015

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Gun Control and Politics

In the wake of the Oregon shooting, there is a lot of posturing, but is there anything that can actually be done?  Why do we focus on objects (guns) instead of on people (the murders).

As I see it none of the proposed measures would actually have stopped any of these shootings. Instead focus on the Hero and victims.  People such as Chris Mintz

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/02/445271614/army-veteran-praised-as-a-hero-in-oregon-college-shooting

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/5/hillary-clinton-vows-executive-action-on-gun-contr/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3261458/The-President-not-welcome-Roseburg-residents-angry-Obama-traveling-visit-victims-UCC-shooting.html

Defense Bill passes in Senate for $612

How should Christians view defense spending.  This got mentioned last week but I did not get a chance to address it.  for me it is pretty clear.  As I see it we have not only cut back on the military, we have stepped back on our involvement in the world, just as many on the left wanted.  The result is that the world is not a far more dangerous place with evil on the rise.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/10/06/senate-moves-ahead-defense-bill-facing-veto-threat.html

In-depth Segment:  30  mins

  • Something that came up last week was the issue of predictive prophecy.  While I agree with Chris that the most prophecy deals with the time and condition of the prophet’s era,  I raised the issue of passages such as Daniel which do predict the future.  I would like to explore the prophecies of Daniel, not so much for what they say about the end times, but rather do they actually predict the future? I would think that the best thing would be to focus on chapter two where I believe the  4th kingdom is Rome, and Chapter 9 which predicts that the Messiah would come in about the year 26 AD, that he would be killed after 3.5 years, and that after that the city and the temple would be destroyed.  Since we have translations of Daniel in the LXX, the book cannot be any later than the mid second century BC. I believe it was written by Daniel, but either way this would be a pretty amazing prediction of the future that I would argue is beyond human ability.

Global Christian Perspectives – October 2, 2015

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Proposed Topics this Week

(Prepared by Elgin Hushbeck, Jr., show co-host)

Water on Mars?

                Interesting positive story – One tie in for Christians:  What would the discovery of life beyond earth do to our faith?

While I believe life elsewhere to be unlikely, (though given we have found pieces of Mars on earth, there is the possibility that life may have likewise traveled to Mars from earth) it would have no impact for me unless we found intelligent life that knew nothing about God.

                http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/mars-has-flowing-water-new-evidence-indicates/ar-AAeSDSl?ocid=ansmsnnews11

Shooting In Oregon

http://nypost.com/2015/10/01/oregon-gunman-singled-out-christians-during-rampage/

This story raise three  issues:

  • What if anything can be done.

The President called for Greater Gun control.

I think there is reason the people target schools, mall and other “gun free” zones.

  • The Gunman targeted Christians

Christians are the one group it is acceptable to hate.

  • Media coverage  / Media culture

Somewhat tied to 1, but I think coverage should ignore the shooter and focus only on the victims and the heros

A Nuclear Tsunami

“The terrorists plan on killing several hundred million people. The west is drastically underestimating the power of ISIS. ISIS intends to get its hands on nuclear weapons,”

Are we really taking this threat seriously enough?  (I would say no, we are not)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/28/l-todd-wood-isis-planning-nuclear-tsunami/

Syria

Russian and Iran want Assad

Saudi Arabia and others say he must go.

The Middle East descends further in chaos

This threatens to expand beyond the region

Is there anything that can now be done?

 

In-depth Segment:  30  mins

Apocalyptic thinking  

A constant interest for many Christians is the end times. But this mind set seem deeper than just Christians and the Left Behind series.   It is found in Islam and even secular thought.  (I believe it is a major component in the predictions of Climate Change)

Chris and I may be somewhat in agreement in that I believe most of what the prophets did was speak about things happening in their times.  However there are the books of Daniel, Revelations, and some other selected passages that at least seem to deal with the future.  (FYI,  I will be teaching on Daniel this fall, and have recently finished my notes which I have been working on most of this year).

As always you are free to suggest others.

See you all at  1:00PM CT,  2:00PM ET,  7:00PM in England.

 

 

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