On Systemic Racism

‘Systemic Racism’: An Uncontestable Axiom


Here’s the thing: how can we know if these claims made in the letter are true? Is there any way to contest them, to falsify them? Practically speaking, I don’t think there is. You’re going to be the manager who tells black people who signed the letter that actually, their claims are in any way inaccurate, unfair, or wrong? Unthinkable. Don’t misunderstand: these grievances might well be justified. My point is that for all intents and purposes, in this cultural environment, it is impossible to challenge them. I was googling today and found an interview on YouTube with a black undergraduate at Princeton, who asserted that the university was racist. The interviewer asked him for examples of Princeton’s racism. He could not come up with a single example! But this did not deter him. He said that Princeton was “structurally racist.” Maybe it is, I dunno. But again, is this a testable hypothesis? If it’s not a testable hypothesis — I mean that as a matter of cultural politics — then what does that mean? It means that if you are part of an “oppressed minority,” you can get whatever you want just by demanding it, because those running our institutions lack the confidence to challenge you.
Comment: Yup


Six Views on New Covenant Fulfillment

Six Views on New Covenant Fulfillment

  1. The New Covenant will be fulfilled in the future with national Israel; the church has no relationship to the New Covenant (some classical dispensationalists)
  2. There are two New Covenants—one with Israel and another for the church (some traditional dispensationalists including John Walvoord)
  3. The New Covenant is completely fulfilled with the church; there is no future fulfillment with national Israel (Covenant Theology and some non-dispensational systems)
  4. The New Covenant will be fulfilled with Israel but the spiritual blessings of the covenant are applied to the church today (some traditional and revised dispensationalists)
  5. The New Covenant will be fulfilled with Israel but the church is an added referent to the New Covenant promises so there is a sense in which the New Covenant is being fulfilled with the church. The New Covenant has two referents—Israel and the church (some revised dispensationalists; Paul Feinberg)
  6. Since the New Covenant was given to Israel for the purpose of also blessing Gentiles there is literal fulfillment of the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant to all believing Jews and Gentiles in this present age, while the physical/national promises await fulfillment with Jesus’ second coming when national Israel is incorporated into the New Covenant (some revised and most progressive dispensationalists)
Comment: I'm #6

Paul Henebury on: Part 1, Part 2


The "Great Enrichment"

We live in the luckiest era in history, and here's why - Enrichment rooted in capitalism has made life better in so many ways, including ones that touch very close to home. It's worth considering if you favor systemic change. 


The facts are that for most of human history the “natural” way of things was for parents to bury children. Nowadays, as my friend suggests, such sorrows are rare tragedies. The numbers tell the story. In 1860, the share of the global population that died in the first five years of life was 41%. In 2017, it was 4%.

In the U.S., in 1900, 1 child in every 4 died before his or her fifth birthday. Today it is 1 out of 167.

This 98% decline is an incredible success story. What changed? Call it the Industrial Revolution. Call it capitalism. The result was what economic historian Deidre McCloskey calls the Great Enrichment.

For most of history, humans survived on roughly the equivalent of $3 a day — enough for subsistence living. In good times living standards might rise, but one bad harvest or natural disaster could plunge a community back into abject poverty.

Around 200 years ago things began to change rapidly. Today the average American lives on about $130 a day. Europe, Canada, Australia and parts of South America and Asia have enjoyed similar increases.

This vast increase in wealth — widely shared — enabled us to afford medicines and medical treatments, diets, clothing and shelter, among other things, which banished such stories as the Pettijohns’ to the realm of freak horror.

This Great Enrichment — rooted in capitalism — continues to benefit humanity. Worldwide, there are 200 million fewer people undernourished than there were as recently as 1990. Since 1993, the share of humans living in extreme poverty has fallen from 34% to 10%, while the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen by 1.1 billion.

Since 2000, worldwide deaths from malaria have fallen by half. The income of the median person on the globe has doubled since 2003. Life expectancy is now higher than ever before on all the world’s continents.

Hasn’t all this come at a great environmental cost? Perhaps, but it ought to be remembered that this cost liberated us from the horrific world of Thomas and Charity Pettijohn and generations of ancestors. When people say that we need “system change” or that “another world is possible,” we should remember what the world of the Pettijohns was really like.

And, beyond a certain level of wealth, countries become greener. Worldwide, between 1990 and 2014, CO2 emissions per $1 of GDP fell from 0.76 kg to 0.32 kg — a 58% decline. In the U.S., they fell from 0.81 kg to 0.30 kg — 63%. There needn’t be a trade-off between the environment and continued economic growth.

This is not just my first Christmas without my dad, but also my first Christmas as a dad. My son was born in May. When I think of what Thomas and Charity Pettijohn went through, I feel sick. My heart breaks for them, and I cannot imagine how I would cope. I am thankful that the likelihood of my having to try is so vastly diminished.

For all the doom-mongering around us, we are the luckiest generation in history. Considering the falling environmental cost of economic growth, there is no reason the Great Enrichment cannot continue. If we keep sight of what it was that has made us so fortunate, the economic possibilities for our children are bright.
Comment: Follow tag Age of Abundance


Psychoanalyst suggests that atheist parents lie to their kids about God ..

Don’t Believe in God? Lie to Your Children - The alternative is to tell them they’re simply going to die and turn to dust.


As a therapist, I’m often asked to explain why depression and anxiety are so common among children and adolescents. One of the most important explanations—and perhaps the most neglected—is declining interest in religion. This cultural shift already has proved disastrous for millions of vulnerable young people.

A 2018 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology examined how being raised in a family with religious or spiritual beliefs affects mental health. Harvard researchers had examined religious involvement within a longitudinal data set of approximately 5,000 people, with controls for socio-demographic characteristics and maternal health.

The result? Children or teens who reported attending a religious service at least once per week scored higher on psychological well-being measurements and had lower risks of mental illness. Weekly attendance was associated with higher rates of volunteering, a sense of mission, forgiveness, and lower probabilities of drug use and early sexual initiation. Pity then that the U.S. has seen a 20% decrease in attendance at formal religious services in the past 20 years, according to a Gallup report earlier this year. In 2018 the American Family Survey showed that nearly half of adults under 30 do not identify with any religion.

Comment: You've lied about Santa Claus ... might as well!

Christ and Culture

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Logical Fallacies

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The "Jack of All Trades" worker

The Increasing Demand for Hybrid, ‘T-Shaped’ Workers


Across a variety of occupations and industries, many highly specialized workers are being replaced by problem-solving generalists. Higher productivity and lower costs, or doing more with less, are some of the reasons for this change. Other important reasons are the increased complexity of products and systems and the unanticipated problems that often follow.

The USS Gabrielle Giffords offers a good illustration of the important changes taking place in the U.S. Navy—and in the world of work in general. The ship was designed to operate with a crew of 40 people, the Atlantic reports in a recent article, "a far cry from the 350 aboard a World War II destroyer." That means each crew member needs to be a jack of all trades.


The concept of hybrid or T-shaped workers was first introduced around 25 years ago as a metaphor to describe the kind of individuals sought by the Navy and many other organizations.
The vertical stroke in the letter T represents a depth of skills and expertise in one or more specific fields; the horizontal bar implies broad multidisciplinary and social skills, as well as the ability to collaborate with experts across disciplines to jointly solve complex problems.

T-shaped skills are increasingly valued in the marketplace. Business schools, for example, have been emphasizing the importance of critical thinking and creative problem-solving that we generally associate with the liberal arts. ... Why are seemingly soft, broad skills so valued in today’s business environment? What’s wrong with I-shaped workers with strong individual skills? There are multiple answers to these questions. Hard skills tend to be deep but narrow. Their half-life is getting shorter. The more specific and concrete the skills, the more they are prone to be automated or significantly transformed by advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, making it necessary for workers to be flexible enough to keep adapting to the continuing changes in the workplace.

Moreover, teamwork is increasingly important in our fast-changing, complex world. If the members of a team all have strong individual skills, it’s often hard for them to collaborate, as they may each also have strong individual points of view. Effective collaboration requires a combination of social, communications and other soft skills that I-shaped workers may not quite have but T-shaped workers do.


  • Kathee and I are "T-Shaped"
  • The ministry could be transformed by this approach!


The NewMedia Gannett merger


Subject to the terms and conditions of the merger agreement, at the effective time of the merger (the ‘‘effective time’’), each share of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of Gannett (‘‘Gannett common stock’’) issued and outstanding immediately prior to the effective time (subject to limited exceptions, including shares as to which appraisal rights have been properly exercised in accordance with Delaware law) shall be converted automatically into (1) 0.5427 (the ‘‘exchange ratio’’) of a fully paid and nonassessable share of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of New Media (‘‘New Media common stock’’), and (2) the right to receive $6.25 in cash, without interest (the ‘‘cash consideration’’), plus cash in lieu of any fractional shares of New Media common stock that otherwise would have been issued. New Media stockholders will continue to own their existing New Media common stock. Immediately following the effective time, it is expected that existing holders of New Media common stock will own approximately 50.5% of the outstanding shares of New Media common stock and existing holders of Gannett common stock will own approximately 49.5% of the outstanding shares of New Media common stock.

The value of the merger consideration to be received by Gannett stockholders in exchange for each share of Gannett common stock will fluctuate with the market value of New Media common stock until the merger is completed. Based on the closing price of New Media common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (the ‘‘NYSE’’) on August 2, 2019, the last full trading day before the public announcement of the merger, the exchange ratio represented approximately $5.81 in value for each share of Gannett common stock, and when combined with the cash consideration, represented total consideration of $12.06 for each share of Gannett common stock. Based on the closing price of New Media common stock on the NYSE on October 9, 2019, the most recent practicable date for which such information was available, the exchange ratio represented approximately $4.39 in value for each share of Gannett common stock, and when combined with the cash consideration, represented total consideration of $10.64 for each share of Gannett common stock. New Media common stock is currently traded on the NYSE under the symbol ‘‘NEWM’’, and Gannett common stock is currently traded on the NYSE under the symbol ‘‘GCI’’. We urge you to obtain current market quotations of New Media common stock and Gannett common stock.

  • $ 625 in cash
  • 54 shares of NEWM