Book Review of Gene Edward Veith, “Loving God With All Your Mind: Thinking as a Christian in the Postmodern World.”

This is a review, analysis, and critique of Gene Edward Veith’s book, Loving God With All Your Mind: Thinking as a Christian in the Postmodern World.[1] Veith has chosen to update his previous work to include new material related specifically to postmodernism.  The first edition release was 1987 and was not able to address the significant paradigm shifts from modernism to postmodernism that emerged shortly thereafter.  In the 2003 edition Veith tackles the ideas of relative truth and culturally created values within a postmodern view.

The author has divided his work into three parts.  Part one is devoted to laying a foundation for the Christian pursuit of education.  Veith makes the case that pursuing knowledge is foundational to Christianity.  The Christian faith according to Veith provides a basis for learning and encourages the “life of the mind,” a legitimate God-pleasing calling.  In part two the author discusses the prominent current secular framework of assumptions and characteristics that explain why secularism remains adrift and how Christians can contribute to discussions within all fields of knowledge.  Part three is devoted to laying out a Christian worldview that is seen to be intellectually superior to secular counterparts.


It has been well documented in the past three decades that secular institutions have abandoned any pretense to objectiveness in their educational goals,[2] opting instead to propagandize and develop a particular mindset in their consumers.[3] This disregard for traditional liberal classical education – not to be confused with liberalism today – has produced a negative response from most Christians as seen in the withdrawal from and criticism of secular educational institutions.  Most criticism is just and fairly accurate but the response of withdrawal while understandable to an extent is somewhat troubling.

Withdrawal in the current Christian context results in separation and disengagement.  Some see this as a right response.  I do not agree however, that the interests of faith and Christian cultural influence are best served by separation and disengagement.  The reasons are obvious but necessarily stated.  We are called to be salt and light in and to the world.  Salt is tasted and light is seen and neither quality is available to a secular culture when they are confined to a Christian subculture.

Veith states his own reasons for remaining engaged with secular culture and gives numerous examples of people who did from the Scriptures in support of his view.  Moses for example was educated in the wisdom of Egypt, Daniel and his three companions were trained in the ways of the Chaldeans, and the apostle Paul received the best available education of his time “at the feet of Gamaliel.”[4] The idea that Veith develops in the opening portion of his book is that, “by precept, by example, by its history, and by its very nature, the Bible opens up to us the whole world of truth.”[5] For the author this means that all fields of study that aid in an understanding of the Bible are worthy to be explored.  This would necessarily include literacy training as a foundational endeavor.  The development of literacy in Europe is most certainly traced back to Christians and their efforts to have the Scriptures available to all people for their personal reading, education, and edification.  This remains a large part of many missionary efforts including Wycliffe Bible Translator missionaries.  These literary efforts played an important role in the development of the printing press as demand grew for Bibles and other printed materials.

Linguistics education followed literacy training.  Because the original languages of the Bible are Hebrew and Greek it is important to know those languages to determine what God inspired.  That endeavor is aided by an understanding of the histories of those languages and of the nations in which they were utilized.  Veith develops a convincing dovetailed chain of events that include the disciplines already mentioned as well as geography, archaeology, and anthropology all arising out of the Christian belief that the Bible should be read and understood.

The most compelling evidence for a Christian educational endeavor is found in the existence of Western civilization and thought.  Veith makes it clear that in spite of the virulent attacks launched against Christianity by scientists, they must in the least acknowledge that only within a Christian worldview could science have arisen.  Without laboring the point here, one can look to other cultures that have remained undeveloped and seemingly locked in time for proof of this truth.  At issue are the assumptions that characterize their worldview.  For instance Christianity views nature as God’s creation and therefore worthy of investigation.  Nature is not to be feared or appeased as mankind has historically done.  Scientific disciplines can only develop within an atmosphere of intentional pursuit of knowledge and learning.  That is why Christian Europe developed and expanded to colonize the Western hemisphere.  The pursuit of knowledge and discovery was paramount, other issues notwithstanding.

Today, scientists who claim to pursue truth wherever it may be found have become in the West, prisoner to their limited worldview that values technique and technology above nature as creation.  Ironically while dismissing Christianity to the realm of personal individual choice they invest in nature divine qualities such as eternity and self-sufficiency.  For this writer a “bridge of contact” can be made at this point in the least.[6] By introducing ideas of transcendence into the universe Christians can engage secular people about their underlying premises for such thoughts and beliefs.  This leads inexorably to a decided advantage for the Christian over and against his or her secular counterpart.


Veith takes the secular mindset to task in part two.  Calling on Christians to understand that they are “freed from the credulities of secular humanism, the mind-deadening cynicism of postmodernism, and the stifling limitations of scientific materialism,”[7] he insists that the current secular attacks upon Christianity are grounded more in hyperbole than fact and reason.

This does not diminish the extent or ferocity of the secular assault upon Christianity.  A key issue for this writer is that the secular assault is often sublime.  This may appear to be contradictory to some as I have suggested that secularism is a ferocious adversary.  What this reveals is the intellectual mindset of those given to a secular worldview, including those who consider themselves Christians.

The pivotal point in understanding this seeming contradiction is seen in the approach taken to the authority of Scripture.  Christians fall into two general camps.  One perspective understands the authority of the Bible to inform and teach and accepts that authority as the rule for living.  Thus life is viewed through the prism of Scripture.  A second group consists of those who may have understood and accepted the Bible as a rule or authority but for various reasons no longer does.  This second group unwittingly it is hoped, has been duped into adopting a secular worldview.  This group has succumbed to the pervasiveness of a world without God.  What I mean by that is that God is never considered in light of any vocational discipline.  The net effect of this conspiracy of silence regarding Christianity is the accepted though not spoken belief that all of life can be explained without appeal to the supernatural.

Some might contest this explanation as untrue or perhaps unfair but analysis proves otherwise.  Theological liberals who are more attuned to secularists than traditional Christianity share a common experience.  At some point in their faith journey they have acquiesced to secular pressures for respect and acceptance.  The price they paid was the forfeiture of orthodoxy.  In spite of the constant drumbeat of the secular media against it, doctrine remains a central point of focus for understanding God and what He has spoken to His creation.  At the risk of oversimplifying the issue, God has spoken to us through the written word.  It is important that we understand what He has said and live life according to that understanding.  When Christians disengage from that foundation all forms of aberrant theologies follow.

A weakness of secularism and its attacks upon Christianity is revealed many times in the contradictory reasons people give for rejecting Christianity.  For example critics claim that God is indifferent to the suffering of mankind.  This criticism is certainly offset by a God who sent His own Son to be the suffering servant for mankind.  Secularists appear schizophrenic when they charge Christianity with neglecting the poor (Marxism) and helping the poor (followers of Ayn Rand) at the same time.

The most virulent attacks are reserved for the Church as an institution.  Few believers have not heard the litany of grievances against the Church that include the atrocities of the Crusades, the Inquisition, the numerous pogroms throughout the years, the political chicanery, as well as the belated support in some instances for human and racial rights.  Unfortunately these are all legitimate examples of Christians failing to live up to what they claim to believe.  This does not however, invalidate the Christian faith.  Sin is never consistent with Biblical faith no matter how sincerely practiced.  The Biblically inconsistent actions of some cannot hold Christianity hostage.  Those who shoot abortion doctors are not examples of what Christianity teaches.  Believers must affirm the criticisms they face as fair when appropriate but rejoin that the true example is found in Christ to which all believers are striving to emulate.

In this section Veith also moves from the modernist to the postmodernist challenge.  Modernism characterized by its dependence on and faith in scientific naturalism has been exposed much like the emperor in Andersen’s fabled children’s story.  Postmodernism takes a scorched earth approach to cultural engagement.  Any and every field of inquiry is fair game to the deconstructionist’s guillotine.  While Christianity has certainly not escaped postmodernism’s scathing critiques, it has fared far better than its secular counterparts.  For instance Christianity has always been forthright in its confession that faith operates by supposition.  Christians believe certain things based on certain other things that are taken for granted.  Of primary importance is the belief that God exists.  Science on the other hand had, until postmodernism captured the academic fortresses, believed it was without assumption.  The generally accepted albeit specious belief among academics was that science was conducted free of presuppositions.  Postmodernism brought an end to that unchallenged axiom.

This turn of events is fortunate for Christianity.  Previously most scientists were unwilling to discuss ideas, theories, or research that suggested alternatives to existing scientific dogma involving a beginning of the universe.  By challenging scientific naturalism postmodernism has opened the door for Christian scientists to discuss evidence of energy fields, the movements of galaxies, subatomic particles, and quantum physics within the context of a starting point for the universe.  Although still derided generally and adamantly by the so-called “new atheists,”[8] a theory of the universe that appears similar to the Christian creation origin story is being discussed.

One challenge to Christianity that postmodernism presents is seen predominantly in the area of knowledge, specifically related to epistemology.  Postmodernism agrees with existentialism by stating matter-of-factly that we cannot know anything with certainty.  Of course this statement itself is nonsensical because if it is true it is false as we would know at least that one thing and thus the statement becomes self-refuting.

The weight of the postmodern argument in the area of epistemology has been thrust against the notion of objective truth.  Truth to the postmodernist is not objective and cannot be discovered.  Instead truth is a construction of the individual based on personal likes, dislikes, cultural operators that influence an individual, and in the end is unknowable.[9] In support of their theories most postmodernists turn to the differences evident across cultures.  These differences according to postmodernism are the result of different cultural norms and values.  Postmodernists conclude that because there are differences across cultures there are different truths and because there are difference truths, truth must be relative.  Christians would agree with the initial observation but would disagree with the conclusion.

Christians would counter by saying that one way to account for the differences seen across cultures is to see cultures that exclude God as deliberate God-evading social constructions.  Truth cannot be apprehended nor denied by choosing to deliberately avoid it.  This is an effective method of restating the postmodern position in a way that turns it on itself.  The advantage for the Christian in pursuing this line of reasoning is that it leads quite naturally to an opportunity to introduce the Christian doctrine of original sin as the greatest underlying factor in the differences across cultures.  Again, cultures have responded to both internal and external factors differently over time.  Those cultures that have grasped and integrated a Christian concept of original sin and its attendant need to seek forgiveness from God as Creator are today seen as the most developed in almost all areas that can be measured.


Veith begins this final section of his book by emphasizing the need for Christians to maintain close fellowship with an established local body of believers.  Being an educator Veith speaks of what he has seen.  Academic peer pressure is a force few young and inexperienced academicians are prepared for.  The author quotes noted sociologist Peter Berger extensively.  Berger’s research has led him to conclude that moral libertarianism and political and social liberalism are required mindsets in order to gain acceptance and although unspoken certainly implied tenure.  Berger asserts:

The symbols of class culture are important.  They allow people to “sniff out” who belongs and who does not; they provide easily applied criteria of “soundness.”  Thus a young instructor applying for a job in an elite university is well advised to hide “unsound” views such as political allegiance to the right wing of the Republican party (perhaps even to the left wing), opposition to abortion or to other causes of the feminist movement, or a strong commitment to the virtues of the corporation.[10]

Within the broader scope of workplaces Christians can combat this type of secular influence and pressure to conform by remembering to serve the Lord who has called His servants into vocations of influence.  This will mean going the extra mile to discover fellow believers who are immersed in the same vocations.  Many times believers allow a sense of distance to develop within their spiritual lives because they believe they are alone and awash in secularism.  Wise is the believer who recalls the words of God to Elijah, “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[11] God always provides for a viable remnant.

Veith transitions from the necessity for Christians to resist the pressure of assimilation to a comparison of the current secular climate and the Babylonian magicians and enchanters of Daniel’s time.  The author’s primary contention is that only a mind educated in and influenced by God can gain true knowledge from all sources in the fullest sense while simultaneously resisting the secular.  To support this view Veith presents the Hebrew youth’s accomplishments before Nebuchadnezzar compared with the accomplishments of the King’s own magicians and enchanters.  Daniel and his friends are described as being ten times better.[12] The reason this was so according to Veith is that the Hebrew youths were not seduced by the superstition and pagan religion surrounding the Babylonian worldview.

The point in this analogy is that modern secular man has returned to the ways of the Babylonians and their superstitious view of life and especially of nature as sacred.  The scientific naturalist’s claim that “the cosmos is all there is, all there was, and all there ever will be”[13] is a statement of eternality.  Ascribing divine characteristics to inanimate things is secular man’s way to create the sacred while maintaining control over it and conversely denying the truly sacred.

The same contempt for God is seen in secular man’s political structures (Marxism and fascism) where the state becomes god and consistent with a naturalistic worldview deny civil and human rights; promote censorship as patriotism, and political oppression as expedient for the greater good of all.  Postmodernism is likened to the Babylonian enchanters who were able to “spin a tale” that both entertained and misled their listeners and observers.  The misleading explanations of the current postmodernists have to do with their assertions that truth and meaning are constructions of the individual.  True freedom and humanness is best exemplified in free choices by all people.  For the postmodernist the only free choices made are those that are unconventional or cut against the grain of what is socially acceptable.  It is the duty of all free-thinking individuals to see oppression lurking just beneath the surface of all culturally constructed institutions.  This in turn produces the postmodern belief that societal institutions are nothing more than power structures designed to maintain the status quo by keeping the powerful in power and oppressing those who are not.  What must be obvious to even a casual observer is that the real victims in this philosophical “Wonderland” of imaginary adventures are the very people who can least afford it – those alienated from God and looking for an intellectually satisfying justification for their continued rebellion.

Against this intellectual and educational dead-end Christianity offers hope rooted in objective truth.  The Christian worldview offers a satisfying and consistent understanding of the universe because it is presented within a context of a God who loves it and created it with special purpose.   Randomness and chance evaporate into a sea of meaning.  The Christian view speaks of time and space having meaning.  Time is viewed as a linear characteristic of the universe, meaning that not only was there a beginning to all that currently is – space and time – but time is also moving toward a climax or ending.  The Christian worldview makes sense of the physical evidence even now being discovered and validated by scientists who are anything but Christian.

The Christian worldview also speaks of the rationality of the creation.  Because God is a rational being His creation has rational characteristics.  The Bible says that God created mankind in His image.  This means that people have inherent worth and value in God’s eyes in spite of the sin that dominates so many.  This is why Christianity upholds the sanctity of life and takes strong stands against policies and practices that seek to wantonly destroy human life.


Veith’s book is a valuable resource for Christians seeking to sharpen their understanding of the secular worldviews that currently hold sway in America.   More importantly it is a concise and cogent primer on how to respond to secularism consistently and authentically.  Despair accurately characterizes modern man but the Christian living in these times need not adopt the same despair relating to his or her effectiveness for the kingdom.  The answer to overcoming obstacles that appear insurmountable at times is to recall the words of our Lord Jesus.

Jesus commanded His followers to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength.[14] The original admonition found in Deuteronomy 6 does not contain the injunction to “love God with all your mind.”  This is an important idea to grasp for the very simple reason that it is often most neglected by otherwise well-intentioned believers.  Christians strive to love God with their hearts (will, emotions), with their soul (in a saving faith relationship), with their strength (in their service activities), but what does it mean to love God with all your mind?

This writer is of the opinion that Jesus was offering His commentary on the Deuteronomy 6 passage.  There we read that Christians are to keep God’s Word on our hearts, teach them to our children, bring them up in conversations at home, at work, and in every place we find ourselves with an opportunity to speak of the goodness of God.  In short God is to be on our minds constantly.

The mind of the Christian has been freed to speak of the wonderful majesty of God.  The secular worldviews that have intentionally marginalized the Christian faith cannot answer the questions of secular man with any degree of satisfaction.  To the materialist who in despair cries out in loneliness the Christian can speak of the soul of man; to the hedonist who’s pursuit of pleasure has left him jaded and cold the Christian can speak of meaning and purpose in living beyond the chains of passion; to the existentialist enslaved to his nihilism the Christian can speak of reason; to the rationalist and his dependence on the intellect the Christian can speak of emotion; and to the postmodernist who cannot move beyond the quicksand of linguistic imaginations the Christian can speak of reality.  Jesus reminds us today that His peace is with us in every endeavor for as the Father sent Him so he sends us.[15]

[1]Gene Edward Veith Jr., Loving God With All Your Mind: Thinking as a Christian in a Postmodern World (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003).

[2]Alan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind: How Education has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Student’s (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987).

[3]Dinesh D’Souza, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus (New York: The Free Press, 1991).

[4]Acts 22:3.  Unless otherwise stated all Scripture quotations are from The New American Standard Bible, The Lockman Foundation (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1995).

[5]Veith, 25.

[6]Francis Schaeffer used this term in his apologetic method to describe the point at which Christians can invade secular discussion.  People use morally-laden and value-pregnant phrases without correctly understanding the implications of their beliefs.  At that point Christians have the opportunity to inquire as to the personal premise for such statements.  This provides an advantage to the believer in most discussions as they are able to provide the biblical basis for such beliefs.

[7]Veith, 37.

[8]Dinesh D’Souza, What’s So Great About Christianity (Washington D.C.: Regenery Publishing, 2007).

[9]This postmodern view of truth is the intellectual basis for the unflinching and unashamed positions of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-euthanasia, and pro-drug usage as well as almost everything else many Christians stand opposed to on Scriptural grounds.  The postmodernist ethical insistence on individual choice as an unassailable right effectively negates any consideration of the substance or consequence of their choice.

[10]Peter Berger, “The Class Struggle in American Religion,” Christian Century, February 25, 1981, p. 198, in Veith, 99.

[11]1 Kings 19.18.

[12]Daniel 1:18-20.

[13]Attributed to the late Carl Sagan.

[14]Mark 12:28-30.

[15]John 20:21.

Review of: Grant R. Jeffrey, “The Global-Warming Deception: How a Secret Elite Plans to Bankrupt America and Steal Your Freedom” (Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2011).

Far too many writers of books dealing with the subject of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) attempt to mask their bias’ and personal presuppositions under the proclaimed guise of neutrality and objectivity.  Such a perspective is a fool’s errand and indicates that the writer in question is either naïve or deliberately deceptive.  Jeffrey is neither.

The author announces his bias and presuppositional basis immediately in the first paragraph of the introduction.  While this might discourage some readers and could potentially cause some to not read this book, I nevertheless applaud the author for his candidness and encourage readers who may not share Jeffrey’s bias’ to press on.

Jeffrey’s alerting his readers to the fact that he is writing from an evangelical Christian perspective is important for a number of reasons.  It is important in the first instance because the political debate surrounding AGW has been framed recently by advocates of all persuasions as being one with an underlying moral nature.  This naturally invites and encourages people of religious faith to participate in the process of debate.  Second, there has been a concerted effort by proponents of global legislation aimed at combating AGW to co-opt evangelical Christianity.  The desired implication being that THE evangelical Christian position on AGW is consistent, homogenous and supportive.  The fact is that among evangelical Christians there exist varied and heterogeneous viewpoints.  Third, in order to respond in a consistent and compassionate manner evangelical Christians must look beyond the sometimes heated rhetoric that occupies too much of the current AGW debate.

While it is necessary to understand the myriad rules, regulations, and legislation being proposed as a means to combat AGW the real questions for the evangelical Christian are (1) what are the consequences of adopting the proposed rules, regulations, and legislation on the poor?  This is the most reasonable and compassionate starting point for the evangelical Christian.  Advocating for AGW legislation without understanding what effects the implementation of said legislation will have on the poor globally is nothing short of shallow and superficial religious faith.  Can denying the poorest people of Africa the basic necessity of electricity for fear of raising the levels of CO2 really be called moral and compassionate from a Christian viewpoint?  It appears to be more than inconsistent with the Christian faith to deny the poor in other nations what is considered to be a basic necessity of life in America.  From this specific concern for the ramifications of AGW legislation Jeffrey asks a much broader question, namely, (2) what are the implications for all human beings if AGW legislation is passed?  It is the author’s contention that “those who lead the effort to combat AGW are not primarily motivated to reduce future global temperature increases.  Instead, they are bent on forcing the capitalist, free enterprise economies of the West to submit to a global socialist-Marxist government” (Introduction, p.5).

On this basis then, Jeffrey lays out his argument in twelve chapters. His theses appear to be three-fold.  One, AGW is a Trojan Horse of sorts, meant to undermine sovereign governments and to establish a global government in their place (chapter 1).  Two, that the vehicle to perpetrate the AGW hoax is the plethora of rules, regulations, and proposed legislation aimed at reducing carbon emissions.  These rules, regulations, and legislation are based on myths (chapter 2), propaganda (chapter 3), false claims (chapter 4), flawed data (chapter 5), outright lies (chapter 6), the recent “Climategate” revelations that demonstrated the ideology over fact perspective of AGW enthusiasts (chapter 7), the truth that modeling not empirical data is behind the AGW temperature change “proof” (chapter 8), the fact that international treaties are more about surrendering national and sovereign rights to international unelected bodies instead of establishing environmentally beneficial and economically feasible action plans (chapter 9), and that AGW enthusiasts are partnering with population control advocates to not only reduce carbon emissions but to also reduce the world’s population through abortion, sterilization, and birth control (chapter 10).  Jeffrey argues that AGW proponents have turned their activism into a religion that rivals even Christianity in terms of dedication to their “faith” (chapter 11).  The author concludes this book by explaining what must be done to escape the AGW exaggerations, deceptions, and manipulations of governments and people (chapter 12).

Together these chapters argue that there is more to the AGW legislation than the public is hearing and understands.  There is in fact a very cynical, sinister, and evil effort underway to turn the world into one global government under the control of “enlightened” elites.  Jeffrey suggests that this turn of events was foretold long ago in the Bible.  In this the author sees biblical prophecy being fulfilled.  He therefore bookends his evaluation of the AGW movement within the context of the Daniel and Revelation passages describing a one world government that will rise in the days immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ to earth.  While this identification of a clear biblical parallel is important the author does not get sidetracked into a deep investigation of the Christian Scriptures, relying instead on a concise and cogent analysis of what drives the AGW agenda and the implications of its propositions.  This makes the book an enjoyable read for people of any religious faith or none. Let’s turn now to a brief chapter by chapter review.

Chapter 1

Deception and manipulation have proven over time to be the devices of choice for those intent on bending mankind to their desires when democratic processes fail.  The author believes that unless AGW advocates and their manipulators are stopped free citizens of the world and especially those in the West “will lose their standard of living and the economic, political, and religious freedoms they value” (p.13).

Governments, scientists, and their mouthpiece, the media, have all conspired to present a false picture of the earth’s environmental state.  The tool of choice presently is CO2 emissions.  The utilization of fossil fuels is responsible for global warming and therefore the solution is to dramatically curtail their usage according to the AGW script.

In an attempt to construct a legitimate basis for reducing carbon emissions the Obama administration and many Senators of both parties recently introduced the American Power Act.  This was a blatant attempt on the part of the US government to create obedience to upcoming AGW legislation through subversion.

It is a historical fact that AGW was an invention of the Club of Rome.  This group saw in the promotion of a global environmental crisis the one vehicle for herding all of mankind together under an umbrella of control.  Their own internal documents tell the story:

“In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill.  In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together . . . All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.  The real enemy then is humanity itself” (p.10).

Chapter 2

The author points out that the only scientifically verifiable variance in global temperature since 1900 indicates a 1 degree F rise.  Is a 1 degree rise in temperature reason for panic?  Jeffrey dedicates parts of nine pages to exploring temperature changes and concludes rightly that the earth has experienced temperature change normally and cyclically.

Why then are governments and organizations expending such energy and resources to create alarm over cyclical temperature change?  The answer is not to save mankind from a coming environmental apocalypse as advocates of AGW suggest but is instead a naked attack on the freedom of mankind around the world.  If allowed to continue unchallenged AGW elitists will “take control of the political, economic, financial, and military institutions of every nation on earth” (p.29).

Myths and obfuscation have and are being used to paint the “green” movement as rational, compassionate, and worthy of the best efforts of humanity to join in the cause of saving the planet.  The truth is that the “green” movement is really “Red” or socialist at its core.  President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus wrote in his book “Blue Planet, Green Shackles,” that “Green is the new red,” meaning that the AGW movement has been hi-jacked by socialist-Communists displaced when the Soviet Empire imploded.

Jeffrey’s cites H.L. Mencken who explained why otherwise rational and intelligent citizens are willing to be lead into political, economic, and social bondage: “civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary” (p.32).

Chapter 3

Propaganda is the art of selling something, be it an idea or product that appears beneficial while simultaneously hiding the negative consequences inherent within the idea or product.  Propaganda relies for its success on slight of hand and gradual acceptance by an unsuspecting populace.  The AGW movement has masterfully applied these principles and is seeing much fruit for its labor.

Jeffrey argues here that AGW legislation is promoted as beneficial to all humanity.  That façade is enough to enlist countless uninformed people to the cause.  While everyone is focused on the right hand that holds the baton and leads the choreographed orchestra of now familiar “green” choruses, the left hand is busy developing iron-fisted mandates that pave the way for socialism, enrichment of international financial leaders and private bankers, and the intentional degradation of the economies of industrialized nations most especially in the West.

Chapter 4

This is one of the better chapters in the book.  Advocates of AGW demand social, economic, and individual lifestyle changes on the basis of perceived harmful climate change.  The truth is that in the past 150 years there has been a 1 degree F increase in the earth’s temperature.  This is easily accounted for as a cyclical change.

Research shows that climate disaster alarmists have attempted to create hysteria many times in the past.  For example in 1895 the New York Times newspaper trumpeted the coming of a new ice age.  In 1912 the London Times announced that this same ice age would soon cripple the civilized world.  After the new ice age failed to materialize the media fell silent.  That changed on the inaugural Earth Day in 1970 when environmental alarmist Kenneth Watt sang the same tired song of an impending ice age because of human mismanagement of the environment:

If present trends continue, the world will be about 4 degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder in 2000.  This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age (p. 66).

At about the same time Professor Paul Ehrlich said with a straight face, “In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct.  Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish (p. 66).  This same man of great vision and understanding also opined in 1970 that, “Five years is all we have left if we are going to preserve any kind of quality in the world” (p. 66).  Perhaps Ehrlich was attempting to repair his damaged reputation, for in 1968 he had assured the world that if the global population was not slowed dramatically the available food supply would dwindle until people would starve to death in global famines.  Not to be outdone Time magazine announced with foreboding the coming ice age and Newsweek jumped on the global-cooling bandwagon with headlines of its own.

The problem for AGW advocates that cannot be overcome is they have no real scientific data on which to base their claims of a coming environmental disaster.  The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) offered chilling statistics indicating that immediate action needed to be taken to avert the impending crisis.  Investigation has revealed that the IPCC scenario is based on computer modeling and not climate research.  In other words scientists created computer models based on the data they input not on actual empirical climate data.  Accountants go to jail for “cooking the books” but thus far AGW scientists in the IPCC have avoided the same well deserved jail time.

Chapter 5

In 1989 the previously mentioned United Nations IPCC was born.  Its charter was to create a theory that could be proven related to AGW.  Specifically the scientists were looking for data to prove that (1) an increase in global temperature that threatened life on earth is occurring; (2) that this increase in temperature is not mere cyclical variation; and, (3) that the environment, animals and humans are being threatened.  The IPCC settled upon carbon dioxide as the reason for AGW and targeted Western industrialized nations as the major contributors to its creation.

The evidence AGW advocates use is varied but is condensed every few years into a United Nations IPCC report that utilizes projections from 23 computer models.  In order to advance their green agenda the IPCC must ignore the empirical data that suggests zero warming has occurred.  In spite of the continued insistence among environmentalists that the “science of AGW is settled,” data continues to arise that clearly indicates the opposite.

The truth is that the IPCC is not conducting scientific research but is instead a propaganda mouthpiece of statists, leftists and globalists who have elevated care for the earth above every other consideration including tragically human life.  Dr. Vincent Gray echoes the growing fact-based resistance to the AGW alarmists: “The claims of the IPCC are dangerous unscientific nonsense” (p. 83).  Dr. John Brignall is even more scathing in his evaluation of the United Nations IPCC and AGW alarmists:

Here was a purely political body posing as a scientific institution.  Through the power of patronage it rapidly attracted acolytes.  Peer review soon rapidly evolved from the old style refereeing to a much more sinister imposition of The Censorship . . . New circles of like-minded propagandists formed, acting as judge and jury for each other.  Above all, they acted in concert to keep out alien and hostile opinion.  “Peer review” developed into a mantra that was picked up by political activists who clearly had no idea of the procedures of science or its learned societies.  It became an imprimatur of political acceptability, whose absence was equivalent to placement on the proscribed list (p. 83).

It is not just those opposed to the AGW agenda that are challenging the green orthodoxy.  Scientists involved in the analysis of computer modeling data are blowing the whistle on the IPCC as well.  Dr. Phillip Lloyd, an IPCC AGW report contributor revealed “I have found examples of a Summary saying precisely the opposite of what the scientists said” (p. 84).

Christopher Landsea of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was both an author and reviewer of the IPCC reports to the United Nations in 1995 and 2001.  He resigned from the most recent IPCC report committee after accusing the United Nations and the IPCC of playing politics with hurricane science stating that, “I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized . . . I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound” (p. 85).

Chapter 6

The reader of the literature on AGW will be very familiar with Al Gore’s pronouncements.  That he has become the punch line of every standup comic and late night talk show host in America is enough commentary.  I leave it to readers of Jeffrey’s book to be reminded of Gore’s many outright lies, exaggerations, and gaffes.

Chapter 7

In this chapter Jeffrey analyzes the fallout from Climategate, the November 2009 revelation that scientists working at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglica in the United Kingdom deliberately distorted the truth of AGW and intentionally did not include climate data that would refute their pro-AGW ideology.  The most prominent example of this intentional deception is the now infamous “Hockey Stick” graph created by then University of Virginia professor Michael Mann.  Mann claimed that his graph proved that continual use of fossil fuel by humans was producing an environmental crisis.  One of the many things that Climategate exposed was Mann’s deliberate manipulation of his graph’s outcome by the exclusion of pertinent data from both the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age.  Scientists who peer reviewed Mann’s calculations and conclusions determined that Mann “had manipulated the data in order to support a predetermined conclusion” (p. 107).

The deliberate obfuscation of the truth by AGW advocates is a fact of public record thanks to the individual(s) who published thousands of internal documents including damaging emails.  Take for example this email from CRU scientist Phil Jones to Michael Mann in which Jones was giving advice on how to not reveal their treachery:  “If they (investigators and scientists not supportive of AGW) ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone . . . We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind . . . Tom Wigley . . . has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that” (pp. 111-12).

Jeffrey addresses three critical areas of concern as a result.  (1) The deliberate hiding of data; (2) Altering historical temperature data; (3) Silencing critics of AGW.  Clearly, the so-called consensus on AGW is a deliberate and manufactured illusion meant to siphon off financial resources from the West as well as erode jobs, raise taxes, and curtail economic growth.  Of course this is seen as a positive development among AGW proponents as they believe that would necessarily curtail the growth of the earth’s enemy – carbon dioxide.

Chapter 8

Jeffrey argues here that instead of using computer modeling that is clearly self-serving and easily manipulated (Climategate, Phil Jones, and Michael Mann), real climate and temperature data that is available should be used.

The author discusses the relationship between solar activity and the earth’s temperature, the human contribution of CO2 and the actual temperature data concluding that climate change is a natural occurrence and that the minimal increased levels of carbon dioxide is not harmful as AGW alarmists maintain but is instead good for the environment and especially agricultural products.

Chapter 9

The author details in this chapter the disastrous effects of implementing climate treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord.  This is a must read chapter for those interested in keeping American jobs in America as well as keeping trillions of dollars here instead of sending them to Third World countries to prop up despots and dictators.  AGW advocates Amory Lovins and Paul Ehrlich see poverty as a means of protecting the planet and insist that Third World nations not be given the necessary energy to lift them out of poverty.  The real goal of AGW advocates is exposed in this chapter as a transfer of wealth that would render a majority of Americans impoverished.

In spite of Climategate and the now recognized fabrication of data and manipulation of people (chapter 7) and scientific/empirical data that demonstrates AGW is nothing but hot air (pun intended), the United Nations and many governments around the world are marching forward to the Pied Piper of AGW alarmists thinking that the world is still blind to their charade.

Climate summits such as Kyoto in 1997 and the largely entertaining spectacle of diplomats flying into Copenhagen in 2009 (burning millions of gallons of fossil fuels in the process) for the Climate Change Accord demonstrate the obtuseness or worse the evil intentions of world leaders who continue to press for global serfdom for the world’s people.

While some may scoff at that analysis Jeffrey rightly points out that the end game of all international climate-control agreements is “to legitimize and legalize a future global government (p. 138).  In a moment of candidness the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said that the Copenhagen summit was specifically “Another step towards the global management of our planet” (p. 138).

Chapter 10

Researching the AGW reveals that in addition to fabricating information and data to support their ideology, the AGW movement has integrated various misanthropist organizations.  It is difficult for rational, emotionally balanced individuals to understand the self-loathing and human species-hating that characterizes population control advocates.  What started out as a radical idea (Margaret Sanger and her eugenics theology of only the fittest are worth preserving) has morphed into a main stream (among the AGW crowd) group-think.  Consider for example the following “rational” statements from human species-hating human beings:

Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First (perhaps the most radical human hating organization): My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full compliment of species, returning throughout the world.”

Sir James Lovelock: The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil . . . Humans on the Earth behave in some ways like a pathogenic micro-organism, or like the cells of a tumor.

Prince Philip (husband of Queen Elizabeth II):  If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.

John Davis: I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong.  It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.  (All quotes pp. 150-151).

Clearly the goals of AGW advocates include far more than the cleaner air and purer water our school children are being taught.

Chapter 11

The worship of Gaia or Mother Earth is a well documented fact and is on the rise.  Many once Christian churches having rejected historical biblical faith have embraced eco-religion. They are joining with earth worshippers and pagans of all stripes forming what adherents believe to be a sustainable moral basis for loving the earth while simultaneously hating human beings.

Author Michael Barone fleshes out the theology of the green eco-religionists:

The secular religion of global warming has all the elements of a religious faith: original sin (we are polluting the planet), ritual (separate your waste for recycling), redemption (renounce economic growth), and the sale of indulgences (carbon offsets).  We are told that we must have faith (all argument must end, as Al Gore likes to say) and must persecute heretics (global warming skeptics are like Holocaust deniers, we are told).  [p.159]

Of course all religions seek converts and the AGW crowd suffers no shortage of evangelists.  While Al Gore might be the most prominent in the minds of many people, the most persuasive and successful AGW evangelists are undoubtedly the hundreds of thousands of elementary, high school, and college teachers and professors in America who preach the green gospel and teach its theology to unsuspecting students.

One of the most dangerous aspects of the AGW religion is the venom spewed toward unbelievers.  Consider the comments of one of the key climatologists employed by the Weather Channel.  Dr. Heidi Cullen suggested that anyone questioning global warming should lose their meteorological license.  Dave Roberts thinks that: “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full world wide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war-crimes trials for these [expletive deleted] – some sort of climate Nuremburg” (p. 166).

Brandishing the same Nazi-theme for Green Theology infidels CBS’s 60 Minutes commentator Scott Pulley “suggested that global warming skeptics were equivalent to people who deny that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II” (p. 166).

Jeffrey then proceeds to describe three dire consequences of allowing eco-fundamentalism to continue.  He lists (1) the threat to governments and economies; (2) its hostility to capitalism and free market economies; (3) the abandonment of Judeo-Christian principles that built Western civilization.

Chapter 12

Despite previous pronouncements that the science is settled in relation to global warming, institutions such as the Royal Society in the UK now admit that “any public perception that science is somehow fully settled is wholly incorrect – there is always room for new observations, theories, measurements” (p. 180).

The once claimed unanimous consensus by the United Nations IPCC of 2500 climate scientists is quickly unraveling.  One member of the alleged 2500, Professor Mike Hulme said recently that the 2500 number was really “only a few dozen experts” and that “claims such as 2500 of the worlds’ leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate are disingenuous” (p. 182).

The tearing down of the curtain to expose the fraud and lies of the AGW has not stopped their propaganda machines from continuing to churn out lies.  The new weapon of choice is concern for the so-called biodiversity of species throughout the earth because of human population growth and the alleged loss of the natural habitat of the earth species.  The vehicle to promote the latest deception is a new international organization formed in 2010 and initially named The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  It is being modeled after the disgraced United Nations IPCC.  Americans especially need to wake up.  Jeffrey states the problem concisely from a civic perspective first:

The eco-fundamentalists, radical environmentalists, AGW movement leaders, and now the biodiversity camp care nothing for rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the US Constitution.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of citizens are unaware of the global-warming deception and the hidden political agenda to radically transform our economy and our way of life (p.184).

And then from an evangelical Christian perspective:

As we awaken to the grim results of this struggle – the lies and deception, the confusion, the guilt and fear-mongering – Christians need to be reminded that we are not alone. We have access to God’s truth and His Holy Spirit to give us spiritual discernment.  While the AGW movement continues to resort to manufactured environmental “crises” to gain political support, the Bible reassures us that the earth’s climate is under God’s benevolent control (p. 186).

Being citizens of the United States carries with it the responsibility to be civically engaged.  We must hold our elected representatives responsible to vote their constituents’ conscience not their own.  It is imperative that we be energized and well-read on the subject of AGW.  In this way only will we correct error and educate our families and friends to the true agenda behind AGW alarmism.  For Christians it is most imperative that we pray.  We must pray for our nation and for our leaders that God will grant wisdom and will guide the activities of such that lead to freedom and liberty from the dangers of the AGW agenda.

* I received this book free for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Spiritual Formation as Spiritual Deception: Beware the Peddlers of Grace (Part 1)


This article will investigate the biblical teaching of the sanctification of the believer in light of current spiritual formation teaching.  Research will be presented showing that the historic Christian theistic understanding and teaching concerning sanctification has been obfuscated today by the so-called spirituality of spiritual formation teaching.  Part one will offer an analysis of the importance of the biblical teaching on sanctification.  Part two will present the ways that sanctification has been understood in the church historically.  Part three will detail the recent re-interpretations of sanctification from within the spiritual formation perspective.  Part four will suggest a corrective to the current path of teaching on spirituality and suggest a return to biblical sanctification.  Part five will present a summation of what is at stake for the church if it does not heed this call.

This effort will rely primarily on an article written by Steven L. Porter that appeared in the September 2002 issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.  In his article Porter suggests that what is needed today is a more robust systematic theology related to the doctrine of sanctification.  It is the position of this writer that what is needed today is much more than a systematic treatment of spiritual formation.  Instead of seeking a bigger tent to encompass all the expressions of evangelical spiritual formation and disciplines today, an evaluation of the practices themselves will reveal a need to return to the biblical teaching on sanctification.

The Importance of Teaching Biblical Sanctification

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians to exhort readers to continue their Christian life and thereby their sanctification by faith.  His question to the Galatians then and to readers of this article today is equally appropriate: “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith.”[1]  In other words did you gain life in Christ by your efforts or by the Holy Spirit?  Clearly, we are saved by grace[2] and the Scriptures teach that we are sanctified in the same manner.

Addressing an age-old issue is at the heart of this question by the apostle to the Galatians.  Mankind has a demonstrated tendency to stray from the path of divine instruction and end up on a path of its own making and choosing.  Paul’s letter to the Colossians provides a ready example of this truth.  The apostle asked the Colossians a question similar to the one he asked of the Galatians: “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, ‘do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!’”  The point the apostle makes here is that the types of activities the Colossians were submitting themselves to could not secure the grace of sanctification being touted by the false teachers of the day and was in fact without warrant based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

It is important to understand the biblical teaching on sanctification precisely because there has developed a plethora of methods suggesting that sanctification is predominantly the responsibility of the individual believer to achieve by whatever means the individual deems experientially satisfying.[3]  While it is true that sanctification has an experiential aspect, i.e., we are called to “work out our salvation,” it cannot be maintained that individuals are free to subscribe to any method of their choosing.  That does not stop many professing Christians from attempting self-sanctification through extra-biblical means though.  Witness for instance the variety of Purpose Driven emphases, the myriad spiritual, marriage, and youth retreats, self-help study groups, recovery groups, care groups, healing and dealing with specific issues of life groups, and the thousands of books on the so-called spiritual formation techniques of contemplative prayer, mystical silence and solitude of the soul, labyrinth walking, chanting, and visualization.  The sincerity of the creators and authors of these techniques and the eagerness of practitioners to indulge themselves in these techniques is not being questioned in this paper.  The validity of what they are practicing and urging others to engage in under the guise of spiritual growth, formation, and discipline is being questioned however.  This concern underscores the urgent need to speak directly to the evangelical Church of its need to understand and teach as a core doctrine the subject of the biblical method for the sanctification of the believer.

We are instructed in Scripture to discipline ourselves as a means to godliness.[4]  Therefore being holy is a goal of every Christian.  Does it follow that whatever technique or process deemed useful by a Christian is acceptable to God?  Following that practice has surely led Christians outside the boundaries of how God has determined He will be approached and how His people will grow in sanctification.  Mystical experiences and pragmatic techniques are nowhere called for in the Scriptures as a means to godliness.  One of the reasons the Reformers advocated Sola Scriptura was to evaluate and eliminate those teachings outside the warrant of Scripture.  It appears the modern Protestant evangelical Church has forgotten this principle.


Read part Two here.

[1]Galatians 3:2. Unless otherwise stated all Scripture references are from The New American Standard Bible, Updated 1995, The Lockman Foundation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995).

[2]Ephesians 2:8.

[3]Dallas Willard for example states that spirituality/sanctification is achieved by emulating the lifestyle of Jesus.  He refers to this as the “easy yoke” of Christ and asserts that in “this truth lies the secret of the easy yoke: the secret involves living as He lived in the entirety of His life – adopting His overall lifestyle  . . . We have to discover how to enter into his disciplines from where we stand today – and no doubt, how to extend and amplify them to suit our needy cases.”  The Spirit of the Disciplines, (HarperCollins: New York, NY: 1991), 5, 9.

[4]1 Timothy 4:7.

Photo credit Young Nak Celebration Church