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Issue 045
The Ninth Roman Month 9, Anno Domini 2020
What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. ~Psalm 116
Liberty is not an end, but a means. Whoever mistakes it for an end does not know what to do once he attains it. ~Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Artwork: "No Comment"  Artist: Pawel Kuczynski

The Devil at Your Fingertips

"Twitter is the devil."

I'm not the one who said it during our MadPx Election Night Catastrophe Special. (If you missed out, the entire thing is also available in podcastable format, without all the live glitches!) But I couldn't agree more.

I have rarely in my life been more disturbed by the demeanor of a human being than I was in watching @Jack (Twitter's CEO Overlord) get grilled by Senator Ted Cruz. Aside from appearing as some diabolical fusion of Neander Wallace and Howard Hughes, he actuated Wallace's 2049 demeanor of a man in control of the situation with absolute power, fearless of whatever perceived threat his opponent imagined it was mounting.

He looked and acted like a man without fear, testifying legalized misinformation with impunity while a vested US Senator howled at the moon.

The reason Christianity has lost the "culture war" is that we endeavored to fight it without our most important, serpentine art of war: divinely revealed anthropology.

Men are evil. But culture war Christianity has been fighting as though we were, at worst, neutral.


Naturally born, without influence from the uniquely revealed Christian Word of God, man is a bestial, primal, carnal thing. To call this "sin" is to use the stigmatized jargon. Terminology be damned if we miss the point:

  1. Evil is experienced naturally as the fallen orders of the cosmos expand and collapse around us.
  2. Evil is experienced personally as the corruption of entire beings, personalities who while created good have elected to self-identify in a finalized state of natural evil.

That is: Evil doesn't always have a face, until all the times when evil most definitely has a face.

Hence, if we will not sit with Job in the ashes this week, then we instead watch it tweeted bold and poisonous across all news fronts: "government by the people, for the people" is a mythology with giant, gaping cracks in it, through which the social media overlords of the future are driving the semi-truck of their globally hegemonic agenda.

It's not diabolical on purpose. @Jack only wants to rule for the good of others, just like the rest of us who swear we wouldn't likewise be driven mad by the single-life accumulation of such exorbitant wealth and power.

The chief message of Job, if I have learned from him at all, is that life can never be so terribly bad that it would not become exponentially better in time. This, however, is purely the purview of the Almighty LORD Jesus Christ. He gives, and he takes away, for his own end.

The difference between us and that ancient Melchizedekian-ish King of Suffering is that we have seen his fulfillment. We know that the end for which God gives each suffering moment is the resurrection of our flesh in justified glory, according to the risen promises of Christ.

All the more then, as both kingdoms and steeples totter, we can wait patiently.

He knows their works, and he overthrows them in the night: they are crushed. He strikes them dishonorably in public places, because they caused the cry of the poor to come to him; for he hears the cries of the afflicted. Job 34:25-28

Until next time,

Be strong, and let your heart know courage.
Rev. Fisk

A spoonful weighs a ton
Clickbait Paradise
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story

While the post-mortems from Election Day continue, the newest addition to "least trusted professions" must be pollsters (and probably straight after "fact checkers"). Regardless of when the dust finally clears, what is plain is that pollsters are asking wrong questions of the wrong people. But there is also plenty of evidence to show that the architects of many polls are flat-out ignoring the data they don't like. The blue checks and talking heads might plead that polling is not an "exact science," but the fact that the prevailing narratives diverged so markedly from reality, shows that objectivity is not the goal.

The lack of willingness to follow where the facts lead is not limited to polling. The pandemic, which has held the world captive for most of this year, has highlighted something that is happening in many places - scientific dogmatism. A recent article in Spiked, written by Norman Lewis, focused on the interesting studies of Robert Edgar Hope-Simpson, a British doctor who is mostly known for showing that shingles is a reactivation of the chicken-pox virus. 

Hope-Simpson spent a lot of time studying influenza and how it spreads. In the late 1970's he challenged the prevailing idea that direct person-to-person transmission was the sole mode of influenza spread. He observed how the flu travelled around the world, and proposed causes for the seasonal nature of flu outbreaks. His conclusions about pre-existing immunity in populations and the effect of changing seasons in activating the virus lead him to posit that "it seems certain that the current concept of direct spread is impeding our understanding of influenza." 

So what could account for the lack of interest in pursuing Hope-Simpson's theory? Lewis proposes that suppressing flu viruses through hand washing and distancing and masks, gives people a sense of agency. He also argues that some wish to weaponize The Science for their own control: "Knowledge is... power [and] as with all science, it can ossify and become an orthodoxy that bars the way to further study." If you have the result you want, why search any longer?

Sumantra Maitra wrote for The Federalist in the earlier stages of the pandemic, lambasting the way world leaders had scrambled to adopt policies based on faulty modelling. He says, "The phrase 'settled science' is a classic oxymoron. There can never be science that is settled..." He goes on, "This pandemic has highlighted how much of our public and social media are full of mindless drones [and] it has highlighted just how much of our scientific consensus is flawed."

Maitra goes on to outline that what is on display here is not science, but Scientism. He describes scientism as "faith in the idea that all social problems have only one answer, through the process of science... Scientism elevates science to the point of a religion, thereby defeating the whole purpose of scientific inquiry." Scientism is the new dogma, with science masquerading as a savior. But it is a golden calf, an imposter, a god formed in an image we prefer. The bitter reality for those who put their hope in Science is that following its doctrines can never cleanse your conscience. 

The quote often attributed to GK Chesterton is apt: "When Man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing but worships everything." St. Paul says that we (humanity) became futile in our thinking when we "exchanged the truth about God for a lie." We end up worshipping and serving "the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!" 

In stark contrast is the freedom we have in knowing that Christ is The Truth. The world he created is orderly and magnificent, even though it is corrupted by our sin. He upholds every atom with his Word and graciously reveals the intricacies of creation to humanity. With that sure foundation, discovering the truth about our world does not become an idol to which we desperately cling, but rather joyful fascination at the mind of our Maker.

Aid the Orator
Tell me I'm forgiven

A Thinking Fellows podcast from 2018 features a great conversation about absolution. After a bit of banter, the fellows relate stories of the power of absolution to free people from a troubled conscience. They also illustrate how sometimes we need to have ears to hear when sinners are confessing. No, we're not crying, there's just something in our eyes...

"Sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here."

Used Tesla owners are jailbreaking their vehicles to access advanced software features. Can you brick a car? While we're on Elon Musk, his crazy Tesla tequila sold out in a day.

Totally freaky Disney robot blinks with lidless eyes. Also very unnerving, one Japanese town is using a robotic wolf to scare away bears.

Crazy stuff from Rev. Fisk: infographics detailing "Chicago values" i.e. homicide and gun crime

It will surprise no one that BitCoin's ability to allow anonymous transactions - has been used for evil.

Baby steps for taking out a giant

Monster companies like Amazon have been devastating to bookstores globally. While it may just represent the inevitable march to the Googlazon industrial complex, one shop owner isn't going down without a fight. Andy Hunter, who feels that book shops are "essential to a healthy culture," started a site called which gives independent booksellers a way to compete against the Big Guys. Nice work!

A bookstore in China is dazzling customers with a combination of spiral stairs, mirrors and faux bookshelf wallpaper. Like something out of Harry Potter, you can almost imagine the staircases moving around..

Also dazzling (but not in quite the same way) is a power plant in Copenhagen. The plant has a mountain built over it, which facilitates grass-skiing, a climbing wall and all sorts of outdoor activities.

When the [elite] levee breaks...

Silicon Valley doesn't like Abigail Shrier's book about how Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria is ruining the lives of teenage girls.

Glenn Greenwald didn't mince his words: the inability of the US to count votes is dangerous. "An electoral system suffused with this much chaos, error, protracted outcomes and seemingly inexplicable reversals will sow doubt and distrust even among the most rational citizens."

Here's an easy way to support Mad Mondays.
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We could all use a good laugh, so..

Some of the best Election-related "shower thoughts":

  1. If Homer Simpson were a Democratic congressman from Springfield, Ohio, he'd be "Homer Simpson (D-OH)"
  2. Due to coin flips, George Washington still makes decisions to this day
  3. USB sounds like a backup in case the USA fails

You're welcome! 😀

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

🐋 Whale watchers have a close call

🤿 Scientists are working on a GPS that works underwater

🎨 Happy little accident: Bob Ross museum

🚉 Art saves lives: a traindriver must be grateful for sculptures

🦅 If only we all had such level heads...❤️ 

☀️ More amazing critters God made: platypus fur turns green under UV light

📊 The 1870 census data visualizations are like works of art

🦈 2020 is the gift that keeps giving: Baby Shark is the "most watched" YouTube video, with over seven billion views

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

In the great town center of Discord, Citadelia, trbw9160 shared the following facebook post of Michael Foster from saying a lot of similar things as Rev. Fisk.  Steenbock chimes in that even though he had never heard of the man, the same ideas have surfaced.  The Lord is building this house.

Some steps to consider (especially in light of the election)...

  1. Don’t go offline or in camp out some little right-wing ghetto apps (i.e. Parler). Stay active on the main platforms. But expand and “back up” your online network “offline.” Big Tech will cancel, censor, and silence anyone that speaks against the zeitgeist.
  2. Build an analog library (or download files) of important books, documents, etc. Big Tech will delete works that undermine their plans and speaks against the zeitgeist.
  3. Find a community that is a “winnable and worthwhile hill.” This is a place that is small enough for you to have influence, large/strategic enough to have some cultural, economic, and/or political significance. Ask “Could this town/county become a city-state? Put down roots.
  4. Get to know your neighbors. Share meals, build trust, and learn to enjoy each other. And then look for ways to improve your community that builds a coalition around the common good. Make yourself a central part of that work. In other words, be a leader.
  5. Buy local whenever possible and reasonable. Open business in your town. Buy and rehab old buildings on "main street." Encourage others to do the same. Strengthen the local economy and make it attractive to likeminded people.
  6. Run for any and all local offices and encourage all likeminded community members to do likewise. You want your neighbors (the ones you've grown tight with) to be the department of health official, the sheriff, head of polling, etc.
  7. Belong to a church in your actual community. Be willing to compromise on some secondary issues if it means being more at a local congregation. If there isn't a single good church, help one get started.

Work, play, and worship together. Get deeply invested locally.

Visit Citadelia: Join the Conversation
A Good Word: Rec's from Rev. Fisk

This week's recommendation is The Social Dilemma, a docudrama about the impact social media has on mental health, democracy, and discrimination, heard from the creators themselves.

Rev. Fisk also passed this along to us - a "CRUCIAL Update" on  European and UK data from The Fat Emperor. Looking at the data with a clear head is challenging to the prevailing narratives about lockdowns, immunity and COVID deaths.

Promo of Friends

Check out the good work happening by Lutherans in Africa.  To use the links, see the real thing, or keep up with them by subscribing to their monthly newsletter.

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Sweetness You May Have Missed
This Week Preached

Pentecost 23

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Let us pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, send forth Your Son to lead home His bride, the Church, that with all the company of the redeemed we may finally enter into His eternal wedding feast; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.