Thursday, February 04, 2016

Books read in February 2016

1. Born Survivors by Wendy Holden

I give this book four stars for the subject matter is such that I cannot indicate I love it.  This is the story of three different Jewish young wives sent to Auschwicz while concealing their pregnancies. The narrative takes them from the death camp to save labour in an aircraft factory then an horrific train journey to Mauthausen, a death camp in Austria. Each woman gives birth on the way to Austria. Miraculously mothers and babies survive and are among those liberated by American troops. As in other accounts I have read I see the survival of some Jews, not as mere luck, but because of a determination to survive and their hope no matter the horrors they endured. We are told what happened after the war. No happy reunions with lost husbands. Part of the horror of the story is the way that German civilians who had contact with the prisoners did nothing to help either because they did not care or were too frightened. There was one glorious exception, a stationmaster in Bohemia who organised food, clothing and other help from his town when the train of prisoners was stopped there. One other man praised in the book is Bomber Harris. The man in charge of the RAF bombing is rarely praised but these women working as slave labour in a factory near Dresden, thought of him as a saint and believed Dresden a legitimate target for strategic reasons. So in conclusion this is a book to horrify one as to the depth of human depravity but also encourage one to see people can endure and triumph through appalling suffering.

2.Submission  by Michel Houellebecq 

Middle aged French academic loses his lectureship at the Sorbonne after a Muslim government comes to rule France. If you do not have a working knowledge of French writers and philosophers you will find this hard going. There is a typically French love of gastronomy and drink. However I found the explicit sexual detail to be pornographic. The author could have explored further the implications of Islamic rule beyond the borders of academe.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

NIGERIA – Raiders kill 60 villagers as homes destroyed

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who have been killed and driven from their homes in attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen.
 
Release partners in Nigeria report a series of attacks in Gire and Riyom local government areas.
 
Fulani herdsmen reportedly attacked and destroyed four villages in Gire, near the border with Cameroon, killing 60 people.
 
They struck in Riyom, Plateau state, while villagers were at church. The Christians, who belong to the Berom tribe, returned from their service to find the roofs had been torn from their houses.
 
Our brothers and sisters in Nigeria have faced attacks on two fronts: Islamist extremists Boko Haram have been driving Christians from the north and targeting churches, while Fulani herdsmen have been staging widespread, continuing attacks to try to take over their land. Raids by the Fulani go largely unreported by the Nigerian Government.
 

  • Please pray for Christian villagers who are vulnerable to attack, that they may know God’s protection.
  • Pray the Nigerian Government will respond adequately to prevent these continuing attacks by the Fulani.
  • Pray for those in Gire who are mourning their dead today.
 
(Source: Release partner)
 

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Monday, January 18, 2016

H. L. MENCKEN'S OBITUARY OF MACHEN 1937

A great tribute from a non-christian.
The Rev. J. Gresham Machen, D. D., who died out in North Dakota on New Year's Day, got, on the whole, a bad press while he lived, and even his obituaries did much less than justice to him. To newspaper reporters, as to other antinomians, a combat between Christians over a matter of dogma is essentially a comic affair, and in consequence Dr. Machen's heroic struggles to save Calvinism in the Republic were usually depicted in ribald, or, at all events, in somewhat skeptical terms. The generality of readers, I suppose, gathered thereby the notion that he was simply another Fundamentalist on the order of William Jennings Bryan and the simian faithful of Appalachia. But he was actually a man of great learning, and, what is more, of sharp intelligence.
What caused him to quit the Princeton Theological Seminary and found a seminary of his own was his complete inability, as a theologian, to square the disingenuous evasions of Modernism with the fundamentals of Christian doctrine. He saw clearly that the only effects that could follow diluting and polluting Christianity in the Modernist manner would be its complete abandonment and ruin. Either it was true or it was not true. If, as he believed, it was true, then there could be no compromise with persons who sought to whittle away its essential postulates, however respectable their motives.
Thus he fell out with the reformers who have been trying, in late years, to convert the Presbyterian Church into a kind of literary and social club, devoted vaguely to good works. Most of the other Protestant churches have gone the same way, but Dr. Machen's attention, as a Presbyterian, was naturally concentrated upon his own connection. His one and only purpose was to hold it [the Church] resolutely to what he conceived to be the true faith. When that enterprise met with opposition he fought vigorously, and though he lost in the end and was forced out of Princeton it must be manifest that he marched off to Philadelphia with all the honors of war.
My interest in Dr. Machen while he lived, though it was large, was not personal, for I never had the honor of meeting him. Moreover, the doctrine that he preached seemed to me, and still seems to me, to be excessively dubious. I stand much more chance of being converted to spiritualism, to Christian Science or even to the New Deal than to Calvinism, which occupies a place, in my cabinet of private horrors, but little removed from that of cannibalism. But Dr. Machen had the same clear right to believe in it that I have to disbelieve in it, and though I could not yield to his reasoning I could at least admire, and did greatly admire, his remarkable clarity and cogency as an apologist, allowing him his primary assumptions.
These assumptions were also made, at least in theory, by his opponents, and thereby he had them by the ear. Claiming to be Christians as he was, and of the Calvinish persuasion, they endeavored fatuously to get rid of all the inescapable implications of their position. On the one hand they sought to retain membership in the fellowship of the faithful, but on the other hand they presumed to repeal and reenact with amendments the body of doctrine on which that fellowship rested. In particular, they essayed to overhaul the scriptural authority which lay at the bottom of the whole matter, retaining what coincided with their private notions and rejecting whatever upset them.
Upon this contumacy Dr. Machen fell with loud shouts of alarm. He denied absolutely that anyone had a right to revise and sophisticate Holy Writ. Either it was the Word of God or it was not the Word of God, and if it was, then it was equally authoritative in all its details, and had to be accepted or rejected as a whole. Anyone was free to reject it, but no one was free to mutilate it or to read things into it that were not there. Thus the issue with the Modernists was clearly joined, and Dr. Machen argued them quite out of court, and sent them scurrying back to their literary and sociological Kaffeeklatsche. His operations, to be sure, did not prove that Holy Writ was infallible either as history or as theology, but they at least disposed of those who proposed to read it as they might read a newspaper, believing what they chose and rejecting what they chose.
In his own position there was never the least shadow of inconsistency. When the Prohibition imbecility fell upon the country, and a multitude of theological quacks, including not a few eminent Presbyterians, sought to read support for it into the New Testament, he attacked them with great vigor, and routed them easily. He not only proved that there was nothing in the teachings of Jesus to support so monstrous a folly; he proved abundantly that the known teachings of Jesus were unalterably against it. And having set forth that proof, he refused, as a convinced and honest Christian, to have anything to do with the dry jehad.
This rebellion against a craze that now seems so incredible and so far away was not the chief cause of his break with his ecclesiastical superiors, but it was probably responsible for a large part of their extraordinary dudgeon against him. The Presbyterian Church, like the other evangelical churches, was taken for a dizzy ride by Prohibition. Led into the heresy by fanatics of low mental visibility, it presently found itself cheek by jowl with all sorts of criminals, and fast losing the respect of sensible people. Its bigwigs thus became extremely jumpy on the subject, and resented bitterly every exposure of their lamentable folly.
The fantastic William Jennings Bryan, in his day the country's most distinguished Presbyterian layman, was against Dr. Machen on the issue of Prohibition but with him on the issue of Modernism. But Bryan's support, of course, was of little value or consolation to so intelligent a man. Bryan was a Fundamentalist of the Tennessee or barnyard school. His theological ideas were those of a somewhat backward child of 8, and his defense of Holy Writ at Dayton during the Scopes trial was so ignorant and stupid that it must have given Dr. Machen a great deal of pain. Dr. Machen himself was to Bryan as the Matterhorn is to a wart. His Biblical studies had been wide and deep, and he was familiar with the almost interminable literature of the subject. Moreover, he was an adept theologian, and had a wealth of professional knowledge to support his ideas. Bryan could only bawl.
It is my belief, as a friendly neutral in all such high and ghostly matters, that the body of doctrine known as Modernism is completely incompatible, not only with anything rationally describable as Christianity, but also with anything deserving to pass as religion in general. Religion, if it is to retain any genuine significance, can never be reduced to a series of sweet attitudes, possible to anyone not actually in jail for felony. It is, on the contrary, a corpus of powerful and profound convictions, many of them not open to logical analysis. Its inherent improbabilities are not sources of weakness to it, but of strength. It is potent in a man in proportion as he is willing to reject all overt evidences, and accept its fundamental postulates, however unprovable they may be by secular means, as massive and incontrovertible facts.
These postulates, at least in the Western world, have been challenged in recent years on many grounds, and in consequence there has been a considerable decline in religious belief. There was a time, two or three centuries ago, when the overwhelming majority of educated men were believers, but that is apparently true no longer. Indeed, it is my impression that at least two-thirds of them are now frank skeptics. But it is one thing to reject religion altogether, and quite another thing to try to save it by pumping out of it all its essential substance, leaving it in the equivocal position of a sort of pseudo-science, comparable to graphology, "education," or osteopathy.
That, it seems to me, is what the Modernists have done, no doubt with the best intentions in the world. They have tried to get rid of all the logical difficulties of religion, and yet preserve a generally pious cast of mind. It is a vain enterprise. What they have left, once they have achieved their imprudent scavenging, is hardly more than a row of hollow platitudes, as empty as [of] psychological force and effect as so many nursery rhymes. They may be good people and they may even be contented and happy, but they are no more religious than Dr. Einstein. Religion is something else again--in Henrik Ibsen's phrase, something far more deep-down-diving and mudupbringing, Dr. Machen tried to impress that obvious fact upon his fellow adherents of the Geneva Mohammed. He failed--but he was undoubtedly right.
[H.L. Mencken's eulogy for Dr. J. Gresham Machen originally appeared in The Baltimore Evening Sun on January 18, 1937, second section, page 15.]

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Saturday, January 09, 2016

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews Worship the Same God?

(Writer’s Opinion) By John Edmiston, Special to ASSIST News Service

CARSON, CA (ANS – January 9, 2016) -- In the past few weeks there has been intense controversy about a professor at Wheaton college who was disciplined for saying that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
Larycia Hawkins, a tenured political science professor at the private evangelical Christian college that once had Billy Graham as a student, proclaimed on social media that Christians and Muslims share the same God and was suspended by the college.
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same GodThis raises the important question of: Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?
Notice there are two parts to this question: a) worship and b) same God.
The Devil knows God is One but does not worship Him. On the other hand, devotees of Baal indeed worship, but they worship a false God.
First let’s compare the two other faiths with Christianity to see if:
a) the have the same god and
b) if they have the same worship:
Not The Same God
1.Christians worship a Trinity, one God in three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Muslims and Jews refuse the idea of the Trinity and just worship “one Almighty God”.
2.Christians worship Jesus Christ as Son of God, Lord and Savior. Neither Jews nor Muslims do this. They do not worship Jesus. Therefore, their god is a different deity. (More on this later).
3.Christians worship a God whose primary attribute is love and who calls us to forsake revenge and to love our enemies and to forgive the sins of others. Jews and Muslims worship a god whose primary attribute is power, honor and purity and who does not call upon them to love their enemies or forgive the sins of others and where punitive revenge is a religious duty.
4.Christians worship a God who became incarnate in human flesh and who died for their sins on the Cross. This idea is considered blasphemy (shirk) in Islam and is denied in Judaism. In both religions their god remains in Heaven. Christianity has a down-to-earth God.
Not The Same Worship
Wheaton Collage professor speaking5.Christians worship in spirit and truth and not in any particular sacred location (John 4:4) while Judaism and Islam have sacred cities such as Jerusalem, Mecca and Medina.
6.Christians worship according to the Spirit and not according to the letter, we have died to the Law. Judaism and Islam place literal obedience to written religious laws at the very center of their religions.
7.Christian worship is free from the rule of the elemental principles of religion such as New Moons, Sabbaths, matters of food and drink, and categories clean and unclean. Judaism and Islam in their worship place a great deal of emphasis on new moons, Sabbaths, halal or kosher food, and categories of clean and unclean.
8.Christian worship consist of people who are already saved, and who already possess eternal life going from glory to glory through beholding the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:16-18). For Christians worship is not a means to salvation but rather a celebration of a salvation that is already secure. Worship in Judaism and Islam is necessary for salvation, which is partly attained via worship. Neither Jews nor Muslims worship by being transformed by beholding the face of Christ. To repeat, Christian worship is AFTER salvation, while Jewish and Islamic worship is PRIOR TO or PART OF salvation. Thus it is NOT the same worship!
The Jesus Issue
The following article says that the answer is a plain “no” because he who denies the Son does not have the Father:
1 John 2:22-24 ESV Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. (23) No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. (24) Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
If you deny the Son then you do not have the Father, so then obviously you are NOT worshiping the Father (even if you think you are). Now the God of Judaism is the same God as the God of Christianity but the Jews of the current era do not “have the Father”, so they are not truly worshiping the Father, because worship of the Father requires glorifying the Son.
God sent Jesus and He alone is the way to salvation and He alone is the way to eternal life:
1 John 5:9-13 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. (10) Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. (11) And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Now if you refuse to believe in Jesus, then you are refusing the testimony of God and telling the Holy Spirit that He is a liar. Since the Holy Spirit is God you are “making God a liar”.
What is the Holy Spirit’s message? This testimony is: that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. And it is nowhere else except in the Son. That logically leads to the apostle John’s statement that: Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Since both Judaism and Islam deny the Son, they do not have life. On top of which they are refusing the testimony of God and thus calling God a liar. Now you simply cannot be worshiping “the same God” if you are also calling Him a liar!
Photo captions: 1) The cross and the crescent. 2) Larycia Hawkins addresses the media over her controversial comments. 3) John Edmiston.
johned academicAbout the writer: John Edmiston is the CEO of Cybermissions, which is an Internet mission’s agency. John has also taught Master's level courses in digital ministry at various seminaries. He lives in Carson, CA with his wife Minda. His e-mail address is: digitalopportunities@gmail.com  
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net).

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Thursday, January 07, 2016

NIGERIA news


At least 14 people were killed and several others injured in an attack on Kimba village in Borno State by Boko Haram gunmen on Christmas Day. They opened fire on villagers and torched their homes. In the days that followed the violence continued to escalate. On 27 and 28 December more than 90 people were killed and 80 injured in multiple Boko Haram attacks around the Borno State capital Maiduguri and in Madagali in Adamawa State, and a suicide and gun attack on a Borno village on 6 January claimed 14 lives. Please pray for the defeat of Boko Haram and for peace to return to north east Nigeria.


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Saturday, January 02, 2016

Books read in January 2016

1. Christian Pipe-Smoking: An Introduction to Holy Incense by Uri Brito and Joffre Swait

A small booklet in praise of the present unfashionable habit of pipe smoking.
I do not think it will encourage anyone to start puffing but it will give pleasure and some good quotes for afficionadoes.

2.Realm Divided: A Year in the Life of Plantagenet England by Dan Jones 

One knew of 1215 as the year of Magna Carta but Dan Jones shows how important a year this was in English history and its relations with France and the Papacy. Jones divides his chapters between the big events history in 1215 and the social history of the period. It makes for real understanding of the times. I would like to read more history written after this excellent pattern.

3. Frost: That Was The Life That Was: The Authorised Biography by Neil Hegarty

A fascinating story of the man who went from a Methodist manse to become the foremost TV interviewer of his age. He enjoyed a loving, stable home with his parents and two elder sisters with whom he cotinued to be close. He went from grammar school to Cambridge on a scholarship. At university he was more interested in the theatrical and journalism than in his English degree. Narrowly escaping being sent down he barely scraped through to graduate but in The Footlights club he was most diligent and ambitious hoping for a future in entertainment. We are told he was resented by public schooled undergraduates but no specific examples of this snobbery are given. After university, still in his twenties, Frost has a meteoric career in TV starting with That Was The Week That Was. As a teenager, this was for me essential late Saturday night viewing. It broke the mould of TV respecting the establishment. From there Frost's TV career on both sides of the Atlantic is chronicled. He had intimate relationships with several women and a short first marriage before he met the love of his life and entered into a stable marriage producing three sons.  There is recounted his interviewing tachnicue and many of the people he interviewed, most famously the Nixon interviews after Nixon's resignation from President. One aspect of Frost's story I found of particular interest was how far he moved from his modest Methodist upbringing.. He became a lover of fine food, wine and cigars and a friend of royalty. Formal Christian observance disappeared yet his wife said he prayed every night. His background enabled him to converse well with Billy Graham and to put Blair on the spot as to what Christian observance he shared with George W Bush.  Overall we read of an able man in his field and one who was respected and loved by family and friends.

4. Troublesome Words by Bill Bryson

Bryson is a favourite author and there he gives us a reference work on English usage. I do not think this is a book one is likely to read cover to cover but one to dip into when needed. It seems fairly comprehensive but I spotted one omission. There is nothing on full and the false comparative fuller.

5. Truth for All Time by John Calvin 

Calvin wrote the French original when he was a twenty something year old asylum seeker in Geneva. He tells the reader how to become a Christian and expounds the creed, ten commandments and the Lord's prayer as well as outlining the Christian's duty to pastors and rulers. A fine summary of basic Christian truths.

6. Girl From The South by Joanna Trollope

I have read a number of Trollope's novels. They have all been about middle class English families with some measure of dysfunctionality and divorce. This novel is different. It is set in London and Charleston, USA. The latter concerns an old established local family. In London it is a number of thirty something singles not able to commit to marriage. I did not find the characters to be attractive. All seem too self centred. The different culture of the southern USA is well described.

7. No Mortal Thing by Gerald Seymour

I have read all of Seymour's thrillers and count him a master of the genre but he has slipped up here. I found the main plot totally unrealistic That an English banker should pursue a young Italian criminal to his home in southern Italy. His family has no attractive features killing a kidnapped child and despatching adults who incur their wrath via acid bath or being fed to pigs. I will not spoil the story except to say the final twist is the most unrealistic part.

8. Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope

A London couple whose adult children have left home are faced with the unexpected return of their progeny and also a young actor as lodger.. The relationships of the younger generation do not  seem to include marriage. The parents are in a happy marriage but their mother's sister is separated from a rogue of a husband. All in all the young adults are not a recommendation for cohabitation outside of marriage.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Edwards and the Millennium

'There is a kind of vail now cast over the greater part of the world, which keeps them in darkness; but then this vail shall be destroyed: Isa. xxv. 7. “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.” Then all countries and nations, even those which are now most ignorant, shall be full of light and knowledge. Great knowledge shall prevail every where. It may be hoped, that then many of the Negroes and Indians will be divines, and that excellent books will be published in Africa, in Ethiopia, in Tartary, and other now the most barbarous countries; and not only learned men, but others of more ordinary education, shall then be very knowing in religion: Isa. xxxii. 3, 4. “The eyes of them that see, shall not be dim; and the ears of them that hear, shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge.” Knowledge then shall be very universal among all sorts of persons; Jer. xxxi. 34. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them.”' -from

Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume One -The The history of Redemption

This is how the postmillennialist Edwards saw the coming millennium. If he returned today would he not say that his prognostication is fulfilled?

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria’s Plateau state where gunmen have killed 15 Christians.

Fulani militants attacked two homes in Hwak Kwata-Zawan village near Jos on December 13. They also raided a compound where people displaced by violence elsewhere in the state had sought refuge.

In one home, a grandmother, Rose Monday, died trying to defend her three grandchildren. Two of the three children died: they were aged one and three. Their five-year-old sister, Anna, is being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds.

In the other house, Gyang Christopher Choji managed to escape but his son, his daughter and his daughter’s entire family were killed. Seven people died in the compound where people displaced from Bachi were living.

Gunmen had apparently visited earlier that day to survey the village while most people were at church – and had even asked local children for water.

(Source: Morning Star News)

  • Pray that God will comfort friends and relatives of those who died in Hwak Kwata-Zawan.
  • Pray that next year will see a breakthrough in efforts to end extremism and violence in Nigeria. Continue to pray for wisdom and resolve for Nigeria’s Government and that militants and extremists will lay down their arms.
  • Ask God to protect those who attend church services over Christmas – in Nigeria and across the world.

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AN AMERICAN AIRLINES PILOT SPEAKS HIS MIND

No name calling, no hatred, no political agenda.
 
 
CANADIAN COMMENT APPEARS AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE AND IS MEANINGFUL.THERE IS ALSO SOME RECENTLY ADDED BRITISH COMMENT.
 
This pilot hit the nail right on the head in his open letter.
 
A newspaper stated that a Muslim doctor is saying we are profiling  him because he has been checked three times while getting on an  airplane. The following is a letter from a pilot. This well - spoken  man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says what is in his heart, beautifully.
 
By Captain John Maniscalco, American Airlines Pilot
 
I've been trying to say this since 911, but you worry me. I wish you  didn't.  I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love,  that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human  landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in anymore.  I notice you, and it worries me.
 
I notice you because I can't help it anymore.  People from your homelands,  professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens  and our friends for more than 20 years now.  I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that  nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.
  
On September 11, ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country.  They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally  stabbed to death others, hacking their necks, over and over, with box  cutters. They took control of those planes and crashed them into  buildings, killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise  grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches,  fearless public servants, and children's mothers.
 
The Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of  the Arab world. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't  want to be consumed by the same rage, hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help.  As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an  irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference  between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.
 
How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Americans and the  Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of  OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter MORE  of the same good neighbors and children?
 
The events of September 11 changed the answer..  It is not MY responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great  country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with  all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to  determine it for me.
 
I want to know, I DEMAND to know and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America ...... Do you pledge allegiance to its flag?  Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car?  Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation;  that He will protect it and let it prosper? Or do you pray that Allah will  destroy it in one of your Jihads? Are you thankful for the freedom that this  nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of  thousands of patriots, who have through our history, given their lives for  this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the  ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America?? If this is your commitment, then  I need YOU to start letting ME know about it.
 
Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time  with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions YOU are taking as a  community and as a religion to protect the United States of America.  Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent,  because I worry about who you regard as innocent....  No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks,  because I worry about what is unprovoked to you.  I am not interested in any more sympathy; I am interested only in action.  What will you do for America - our great country - at this time of continuing  crisis, at this time of war?
 
I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets..  I want to hear you chanting 'Allah Bless America'.  I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military.  I want to see a commitment of money, time and emotion to the victims of  this butchering and to our returning wounded and to this nation as a  whole.
 
The FBI has had a long list of people they’ve wanted to interact with  regarding the threats that they believe to be ongoing. Many of these  people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities. You know  them. You know where they are. Give the FBI a heads up as to where  they may be. Better yet, hand them over to us, NOW!  But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action.  Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close  even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits.  You have screamed for protection from reprisals.
 
The very few Arab/Muslim representatives, like CARE, that HAVE appeared  in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned  with making sure that the United States apologize and take responsibility for  actions defending our own people. They seemed more concerned with  protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the  United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and  denouncing 'leaders' like the late Khadafy, the late Hussein, Farrakhan, and  the late Arafat.
 
If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love  for all people, then I want chapter and  verse from the Koran and  statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up.  What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, pure, and  true,  when your 'leaders' ARE teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and  intolerance? It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers  of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly  and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion.
  A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again.
  A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide.
  A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world.
  A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day  after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around  the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting  weapons into the air.  A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms  against the great United States of America, the country of their birth.  A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to  show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.
 
We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter,  to take away that which is so precious to us -- our rights under the greatest constitution in the world.  I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my  right and the right of every true citizen of this country to DEMAND it.  A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died  protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family.
  
I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother,  my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American...... But there can be no grey areas  or ambivalence regarding your allegiance,  and it is up to YOU, to show ME,  where YOU stand. Until then, " YOU  WORRY ME!"
 
CANADIAN  COMMENTS:
  
We Canadians totally agree with this sentiment. I hope you will forget all about  the 'political correctness' mandate we've had rammed down our throats  by so many on the left, and see if this doesn't ring true in your heart  and mind.  For Canada, with all the multiculturalism we've been told is so important....  why should we not, as Canadians, expect that the millions of new people  immigrating to our country will show their love for our country, their  allegiance to our country, their willingness to obey the laws of our country,  and acceptance that we are a Christian country?  Just because they are able to enjoy exercising their own religion, they  should NOT expect us to be ashamed of ours.  They knew Canada was a Christian country when they came here.  Why are we erasing Christianity because immigrants who are unwilling  to adopt our way of life expect us to? There is just too much insanity  in the world, and we have to start taking a stand.  I hope you will forward this, so that others will feel they are not alone if  they are starting to feel the same.
 
BRITISH COMMENTS:
 
At last a clear non - racist example of the concerns that the vast  majority of our Nations population probably share.  The pilot's letter encapsulates all that is fair and just about national  pride and protection of one's national culture. I fear it may be too  late here in UK, BUT we too want our country back in the form  that attracted all these different cultures to come here in the first  place!! In all our conversations with a wide range of friends and  acquaintances we have not met one that disagrees with our own views.  If only we all had the courage of our convictions to pass this on, it  is a statement that should be accepted as the heart-felt feelings of  someone with honest commendable national pride.
  
Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists to date have been  Muslims.  Stand up and be counted!
 
AUSTRALIAN COMMENT : 
Best email I have had in years it needs to be in every paper every day until we get some answers.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 22: Hugh McKail Martyred (166

He Gained the Martyr’s Crown
The enemies of the Covenanters had very long memories. Long after sermons were preached or actions taken, the authorities in Scotland remembered words and actions against them. Such was the case with a young minister by the name of Hugh McKail.
A child of the manse, from Bothwell, Scotland, his pastor father was one of those forced out of his pulpit and parish when he refused to conform to Prelacy.  Little is known of young Hugh’s early days, but he did go to Edinburgh for education. There he was soon marked out as a young man of exceptional ability. For that, upon graduation, he was chosen to be a chaplain and tutor of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir James Stewart. In that Covenanter home, he would sit at the feet of those in leadership positions in the church and learn of the dire situation facing both the church and the state.
In 1661, he applied to the Presbytery for licensure in the ministry. Preaching in a variety of situations, he was quickly recognized by his hearers for his great ability in the Word of God. However, his ministry soon came to an end as it became obvious that he wouldn’t compromise his convictions, just as his father before him.  Preaching his last sermon in a church in Edinburgh, he had a sentence in it which marked him for remembrance by the Prelate forces of his day. He said, “the Church is persecuted by a Pharaoh on the throne, a Haman in the State, and a Judas in the Church.” The identification was obvious to all in the pews that day.
Forced to leave his beloved Scotland, the young twenty-six year old would spend the next three years in Holland. On his return to Scotland, the situation had not improved any and there was a spark of rebellion in the air. That spark was ignited, as my post on November 28 indicated, at the Battle of Rullion Green. Hugh McKail was among the nine hundred in the Covenanter ranks that day. But his own physical weakness removed him before that great battle arrived, and he traveled to Edinburgh instead. There he was arrested by the authorities, not so much for his Covenanter attachments as for his statement made in that Edinburgh church some years before.
Interrogated in prison, he was placed in the Boot, a fearful torture device which all but crushed his leg while he remained silent in voice. He was ordered to die by hanging on December 22, 1666. His exact words that day of death have been preserved through the ages. They were:
Farewell father, mother, friends, and relations; Farewell the world and its delights; farewell meat and drink; farewell sun, moon, and starts; Welcome God and Father; welcome sweet Jesus Christ the mediator of the New Covenant; welcome blessed Spirit of grace, the God of all consolation; welcome glory, welcome eternal life; welcome death!  Into Thy Hands I commit my spirit.”
Words to Live By:
Could Hugh McKail have compromised his convictions and avoided suffering and death? Certainly, and many did. But this young man  was reared by a parent who by his example remained steadfast to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. With such an example like that, it is no wonder the young minister was given over to sacrifice, in loyalty to both the Living and Written Word, come what may to his physical body. Addressing all parents reading these posts on Presbyterian history: Your life preaches all the week. Are those in your family being helped or hindered to follow the Living and Written Word?

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

‘Ex-Muslim’ Author Gives the One Position on Islamic State (ISIS) and Terrorism that the Church Should Take

By Alex Murashko, Special to ASSIST News Service

Naeem FazelCHARLOTTE, NC (ANS - Dec. 14 2015) -- Naeem Fazal, the author of the book, Ex-Muslim, says there is only one position the church, as defined by Christians within the Body of Christ, should take when it comes to answering the question: What should we do to prevent Islamic terrorist groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) from attacking America and elsewhere?
Fazal, who is the pastor of Mosaic Church in Charlotte, said recently, “As the church, we have a position to play (take), and no other entity, no other organization, club, group, [or] community, can play that position … We are the only ones that can take this position and actually make a difference if the church embraces and plays its position…
“And that position is not a statement or an idea or a solution. The position is actually physically on our knees … because no one else is getting on their knees. No one else is thinking that way. No one else is called to do this.”
One week after the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Fazal is drawing attention to a video (below) of the midweek service he did shortly after the tragedy perpetrated by ISIS in Paris. In Ex-Muslim, he tells the amazing story of having a supernatural experience with Christ that changed the course of his life. Fazal is a Pakistani, who was born and raised in Kuwait. He grew up in a Muslim household, was a teenager in the midst of the Gulf War, and came to the United States in 1992.
The video is posted by his church and titled “Mosaic Church | Position on ISIS.” During his message he describes how he is often asked to give answers to difficult questions about violence stemming from organizations such as ISIS.
Ex Muslim book coverHe talked about a woman who during a speaking engagement at a church asked and then answered her own questions, but finally left an opening for him to answer the question, “How do we prevent another 9/11?”
His answer was that the church should take a position of prayer and he illustrated his point by sharing verses from the book of Daniel beginning in Chapter 10 where Daniel is having a conversation with an “angelic being.” He describes how Daniel comes to the realization that his prayers can be a part of God’s plan.
“Prayer allows us to slay some things” including “inner demons and outer dragons” Fazal explained. Also, prayer can bring on a peace within oneself that surpasses understanding. Among other attributes of prayer, he said it “binds the enemy” and “puts up supernatural protection.”
“Prayer is more than a conversation,” he said. In Matthew 18, “Jesus is saying you have power by prayer to access and to control things you do not see.”
Fazal concluded his message by saying that God can “supernaturally show up to a suicide bomber and say, ‘You are not going to blow all these people up … Your plan was to kill thousands and thousands of people… no, no no.’”
It is the prayer of the church that has prevented thousands of more deaths that the terrorists had planned, he said. “What if we were to fully believe that?”
On the Web:
Mosaic Church: http://mosaicchurch.tv/ 
Ex-Muslim book: http://exmuslimbook.com/ 
Photo captions: 1) Naeem Fazal. 2. Book cover. 

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Films seen December 2015

1.  American Sniper

Another over hyped American film. Are American film makers incapable of not effing all over the place. I know plenty of Americans who do not use the f word so why are films so full of it? Second gripe. This film needs sub titles. The diction/enunciation is so bad as to lead to too many incomprehensible dialogues. Lastly some of the war scenes are unclear as to who is doing what. I expect no plaudits for a helpful review, unless my negativity saves someone wasting time watching it.

2. The Woman in the Van

We saw the stage play some years ago. There were details I had forgotten and some things added. Added were far more references to Bennett's homosexuality but it was carefully done and someone who did not know of his sexuality might not get a lot of the references. Maggie Smith was magnificent, worthy of an Oscar. Sadly the film seems to lack any real message other than one should be kind to stranger, even dirty, demanding ego centrists. There is some very witty dialogue and a mystery to solve.

3. Song for Marion

An enjable romantic film with no sex scenes. Marion is dying of cancer. Her big enyoyment id her local choir ledby an able young teacher. Alfred, Marion's grumpy husband joins the choir after her death. He is estranged from his son, but through the choir there is a reconciliation. This is a real pro-family film. Marital fidelity and real love are well portrayed.


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Sunday, December 13, 2015

More Problems for Christians in Nigeria But is it all caused by Boko Haram?


By Scott A. Morgan, Special to ASSIST News Service
Shocking scene of Christians murdered in nigeriaNIGERIA (ANS – Dec. 12, 2015) -- When one hears or thinks of Christian persecution that is occurring inside Nigeria the first thoughts seemingly focus on the Boko Haram Militancy that started in the Northeastern part of the Country and has been able to spread outside of Nigeria to its neighbors.
The State in question is Taraba, which lies to the south of the Area where the Islamists have focused their insurgency which are the States of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno. It also forms part of the border with Cameroon. Like several other States in Nigeria, Taraba had had one person dominate the political landscape. That person is Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, and while researching this article, a search was conducted regarding the political landscape of Taraba and I discovered that his website was taken down by theNigerian Authorities. It is believed that nothing happens in the State without his knowledge.
The question now is who is the guilty party? It is reported that they are the Fulani’s, a nomadic tribe that resides in the area. According to a report documented by the Nigeria Conflict Security Analysis Network, and analyzed by World Watch Research, which is part of Open Doors International, the numbers, especially related to the Fulani’s, are staggering. Using data collected between December 2013 and July 2015 the following incidents have taken place within Taraba State:
* 1,484 Christians have been killed which are broken down into 532 men, 507 women and 445 children.
* 2,388 were injured which were broken down into 1,069 men, 817 women and 502 children.
* 171 Churches were destroyed, 314 homes, and 39 shops and businesses.
Fulani herdsmen on the attackAt this time there are 10 IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camps open within the State currently housing 11,898 People. In Benue State there are six camps open and housing 12,664 IDPs. An estimated 10,000 more IDPs are camped along the Nigerian-Cameroonian Border as well. What is a concern is that it is estimated that this covers only 50% of the reported atrocities against the Christians committed by the Fulani’s.
Earlier this year Nigerians elected a New President, Muhammadu Buhari, to deal with a myriad of issues such as a poor economy and the Boko Haram insurgency. These concerns have easily overshadowed the events that have occurred in Taraba. It has been recommended that the UN Human Rights Council send a Commission of Inquiry to the region (Middle Belt) The focus will be to determine if ethnic/religious cleansing is taking place in this state.
Church destroyed in NigeriaNo data regarding violence against Muslims has been collected to determine how they have suffered in this area. It feels that some type of cleansing process is taking place to support the Boko Haram insurgency. This is also something that the US Embassy in Nigeria and the Congress need to investigate so that the proper discussions could be held with the Government in Abuja.
The region is already in a precarious state. Nothing else that will inflame tensions needs to occur. It’s time for Abuja and its allies/donors to face some critical questions. Such why is the UN interested in the Atrocities there and not in the Northeast? Why is the Nigerian government focused more on Boko Haram as a threat to National Security than what is occurring in Taraba?
Photo captions: 1) Shocking image of some of the Christians who have perished in Nigeria. 2) Fulani herdsmen on the attack. 3) A Church destroyed by Islamists in Nigeria. 4) Scott A. Morgan.
Scott A MorganAbout the writer: Scott A. Morgan has been the President of Red Eagle Enterprises since its inception in November 2012. He uses his experience from serving in the U.S. Marines during the Reagan administration, attending college for Criminal Justice, Advocacy for Human Rights with Amnesty International and writing to come up with an interesting matrix and business model. Currently based in Washington, DC, he specializes in US Policy towards Africa focusing on Security, Assymetrical Operations and Business Development South of the Sahara. His Blog Confused Eagle can be found at http://confusedeagle.livejournal.com  and his e-mail address is: confusedeagledc@gmail.com  
** You may republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10: Covenanters in the Crown of London

by davidtmyers
The story of the Covenanters defeated at Bothwell Bridge and sent aboard the Crown of London as slaves is a sobering story. There are pictures on the web of the monument on the coast of Orkney near the sea as well as the Covenanter Fountain in Kirkland.
Covenanters in the Crown of London
Following the disastrous Battle at Bothwell Bridge on June 22, 1679, in which Covenanters were defeated in the battle, close to 1200 Covenanter prisoners were taken to Edinburgh and imprisoned in a make shift, open air prison next to Greyfriars Kirk (church). Some were tortured and killed immediately. Others died of natural conditions due to the harsh conditions of the site. Others were pardoned and set free under the August 14th Act of Indemnity that same year. But our attention today focuses in on the approximately 257 alleged ringleaders, including Covenanter ministers, who were sentenced to be shipped to the West Indies or Virginia as white slaves. Setting sail from Leith, Scotland, on the prison ship, Crown of London, on November 27, 1679, they sailed only a short while before bad weather forced them into a port.
Despite warnings from the locals to not attempt to sail, they had hardly cleared the land mass when the ship lost its anchor on December 10, 1679, striking rocks off of Dearness.The captain, Thomas Teddico, described as a profane, cruel wretch, ordered the crew to escape by chopping down the mast and riding it to the shore. The prisoners in the hold, who had their hatches chained to prevent them from escaping, were left to their own straits. All of them perished, with the exception of around 50 who were enabled to escape by means of a ax which one prisoner had with him. During  the next several days, bodies of the dead prisoners washed up at the beaches, and subsequently were buried in the area.
Of those who managed to escape, six prisoners were caught and shipped to the Barbados as slaves. Eight other Covenanters were shipped to the English plantations in Virginia. Some escaped to Ulster. At least two families in the port area claimed to be descended from a few Covenanters who stayed where they landed.
orkneyOn August 22, 1888, a majestic granite monument [pictured at right] was erected about 300 yards from the spot where the Crown of London went down. It has the following memorial etched on its side: "Erected by public subscription to the memory of 200 Covenanters who were taken prisoner at Bothwell Bridge and sentenced to transportation for life, but who perished by shipwreck near this spot, 10th December 1679." Another memorial is found in nearby Kirkwall and is known as the Covenanter Water Fountain, built just two years later in 1890 due to excess funds left over from the original monument.
Words to Live By:Our spiritual forefathers suffered much for the Savior in their battles to win the Reformation. They deserve to be remembered by all Presbyterians everywhere for their sacrifices for the kingdom of Christ. In  so remembering, you the reader may be informed that black African slaves were not the only ones shipped to these shores. White slaves -- Covenanter slaves -- also were sent to our shores. Don't forget their sacrifices. Remember their sacrifices as we approach the coming year.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Books read in December 2015

1. As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer

Archer is one of the great storytellers of our time. He takes a barrow boy from the East End and follows him becoming a department store magnate with a seat in the Lords. There is the story of a feud with another family, a tale of romance going wrong and illegitimacy where children are kept from knowledge of their parentage. Heirs are hunted in the Antipodes. The story twists and turns and has its surprises.

2. Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume Two: Everything She Wants by Charles Moore 

 I found Moore's first volume to be excellent and he has once again produced a very detailed and thorough account, this time of the years after the 1982 Falklands war until her third and final general election victory, the only PM to win three elections in a row in the 20th century.  Five years in over 700 pages. Some chapters are more gripping than others because of the nature of their subjects.  Her ups and downs with Reagan, the development of her relationship with Gorbachev, the miners' strike, the Brighton bomb, South Africa and how others viewed her., these are the most interesting. Westland and party infighting are not so fascinating. Once again, Moore is no hagiographer. He paints her warts and all. She talked too much and sometimes did not want to listen. Kind to ordinary people around her she often had poor relations with her ministers and treated some badly. In the case of Geoffrey Howe, that came back to haunt her. I was surprised to learn of tensions with Tebbit who I always thought of as her tough guy.  She was indeed a Marmite character. Moore shows how and why she was both loved and hated. Roll on volume three. How long will we have to wait?

3. Radical Puritans in England 1550 - 1660 (Seminar Studies In History) by R.J. Acheson

An excellent brief introduction to dissent from the established Church of England. It starts with a few isolated separatists and ends with a great diversity in dissent during the Commonwealth. The English desire not to conform seems to come out as a national trait. But there is alsp the folly of trying to enforce conformity. Laud and his followers would have probably survived their professed Arminianism but forcing others to keep all their ceremonies, that was folly.

4. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham 
Another gripping thriller from the master of legal fiction, Sebastian Rudd is the lawyer who will defend the people other lawyers will not help. He is the only admirable character in the story. But I do want to ask if United States laws, prosecutors and police can really be this bad. The criminals are worse but not a lot. Grisham keeps the reader's attention. I am not going to be a spoiler but I found the ending rather flat. The moral of the story seems to be that if you hire a good lawyer, take his advice.

5. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Christopher Catherwood

This book is by the eldest grandchild of the renowned preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He writes to introduce modern Christians to the man considered by many to be the greatest preacher of the last century. He starts with biography then moves on to more controversial matters. Firstly he rightly sees Lloyd-Jones distinguishing matters of primary importance for Christian fellowship from secondary matters. But no distinction is offered between individual Christian fellowship and the difference when it is fellowship between local churches. The somewhat idiosyncratic view of the Doctor on the baptism or sealing of the spirit is described but there is no mention of John Stott's rebuttal of the Doctor's teaching. Catherwood seems to have an unusual take on the 1966 controversy where Stott publicly disagreed with the Doctor. It this was merely a call to better spiritual unity among evangelicals why did Stott immediately speak out? Catherwood implies that there were significant numbers of ministers who left their mixed denominations, but gives no figures. My memory of the time is that it was seen as a clear call to leave mixed churches but the numbers who did were small.  Where I really part company with the author is his description of congregational life at Westminster Chapel. We are told that quite a number of people commuted in and spent the day there in happy fellowship. He says that it would not have been possible to ask them how far they had come to hear the great preacher. I ask, why not? How do you justify abandoning any possible gospel witness close to your home in favour of the pleasure of hearing the greatest preacher of your day?
I  also question the real vitality of this between the services fellowship. I was a regular student attender at the Chapel between 1964 and 1967. I was never invited to become a member or offered so much as a cup of coffee by way of welcome. My own assessment of the chapel is preaching 10/10. Body life 0/10. So it now strikes me as very ironic that the Doctor was calling people out of mixed denominations into purer evangelical churches. I get the impression that the author may identify himself as reformed baptist. He tells us his grandfather was for believers baptism but not by immersion, another unusual view. I am surprised that historian Catherwood makes no reference to 'Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) and Twentieth Century Evangelicalis'  by John Brencher, a more academic study but IMO a more accurate one. I believe Brencher makes the cogent remark that Lloyd-Jones was a consultant physician and the way he ran the chapel had much in common with the consultant's surgery.

6. The Lord's Day - Why go to church Twice on Sundays by David Campbell

This booklet published by Day One seems not to be listed on Amazon. In these days when most church attenders go once only on Sunday, this book is a needed challenge.  However, the author does not use what I consider the simplest argument for church twice on Sunday. I ask 'who wants to eat only one meal a day when two feasts may be enjoyed'?

7. William Carey and twenty-first century India.- Paul Barnes

A short booklet with biographical details of the greatest missionary since Paul the Apostle. One learns of the many obstacles and adversity overcome so that a humble cobbler became a professor of Indian languages. This book dispels the myth that British colonial policy was a help to the gospel. Carey had to live in a tiny Danish colony in order to spread the gospel.

8. The Book Boy bJoanna Trollope 

This is the fourth Trollope I have read but the first short one. Once again it is a story of human interaction. A wife is put upon when he feels inferior due to illiteracy. But she is to find an unusual helper in learning to read

9. Marrying the Mistress by Joanna Trollope

I think this is the fifth Trollope I have read. Once again the subject is a dysfunctional family breaking up. One could argue that all families have a measure of dysfunctionality but in real life some are committed to keeping the marital promises.. Not so in Trollope's world. Here we have a judge in his sixties telling his family he wants to marry his young mistress. I confess I do not like the way the betrayed wife's reaction is portrayed as selfish and manipulative. My sympathy is with the wronged woman.  Infidelity makes a mess of lives. This is plain to see.

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