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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Economics 102 and remedial Theology

We begin with explaining the economic concept of "opportunity cost" to Jim Hines, John Scalzi, and Patrick Nielsen Hayden:
In the wake of Scalzi’s Big Book Deal, folks have been saying some rather ignorant or ill-informed stuff about how publishing works. I wanted to address a few of those points here.

Let’s start with the easiest, in which folks over on Theodore Beale’s blog claim that by Tor giving Scalzi a $3.4 million advance, they’re “squeezing out” approximately “523 initial advances to new science fiction authors.” In other words, Beale claims that “Patrick Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi have combined to prevent more than 500 authors from getting published and receiving paid advances.”

This is a particularly egregious bit of ignorance coming from Mister Beale, who fancies himself a publisher.

Publishing is a business. As a business, Tor not only spends money on things like acquiring and publishing books, they also earn money by selling said books. Assuming Scalzi shut out 500 authors assumes that Tor is simply pissing away that $3.4 million. This is a rather asinine assumption. John Scalzi has repeatedly hit the NYT Bestseller list, earned a Best Novel Hugo, and has several TV/film deals in development for his work. Tor buys books from John Scalzi for the same reason they buy books from Orson Scott Card: those books sell a hell of a lot of copies, and earn Tor significant profits.

Very often it’s those profits — the income from reliable bestsellers like Card and Scalzi — that allow publishers to take a chance on new and unknown authors.
Let's count the errors:
  1. Scalzi and PNH have combined to render it impossible for 523 new science fiction authors to break into mainstream publishing through Tor Books. This is a simple fact so long as we know that Tor does not have an unlimited amount of money at its disposal. The fact that Pan Macmillan just canned PNH's counterpart at Tor UK "following a review of the company’s science fiction and fantasy publishing" should suffice to indicate that Tor's advance budget is not limitless. The math is straightforward: PNH chose to give one author 13 advances of ~$250,000 per book rather than giving 523 authors $6,500 advances of the sort he gave John Scalzi for Old Man's War. Any response that doesn't take this into account is mere handwaving and evasion.
  2. I don't fancy myself a publisher. I am very pleased to have the privilege of publishing John C. Wright, Jerry Pournelle, Eric Raymond, Tom Kratman, Sarah Salviander, Jonathan Moeller, Rolf Nelson, Martin van Creveld, and William S. Lind, among others. And we expect to announce the publication of several big names from the game industry soon.
  3. Observing that Scalzi financially shut out 500+ authors does not assume that Tor is simply pissing away that $3.4 million. Those authors are now shut out whether Scalzi sells millions of books or none at all. If Tor is pissing away that $3.4 million, it is the authors now being published by Tor who will be shut out in the future. Tor is literally betting their careers on Scalzi. I expect some will like that gamble, others not so much.
  4. The opportunity cost of a choice is the value of the best alternative forgone, in a situation in which a choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives given limited resources. We've already established that Tor's resources are limited. So, the question is not whether John Scalzi's next 13 books "sell a hell of a lot of copies, and earn Tor significant profits", but if those 13 books will sell MORE copies, and earn Tor MORE significant profits, than the books from other authors Tor otherwise might have signed.
  5. Tor bought Scalzi's various one-and-done appearances on the oft-gamed NYT Bestseller list. The idea that Fuzzy Nation was ever more popular than Old Man's War or sold more copies is downright risible. To cite Tor's past marketing efforts as justification for the new authors it has decided not to publish is a category error. It's a sunk cost of trivial benefit going forward, not that Hines likely knows what a "sunk cost" is. As for the appeal to the Hugo Award, I'm going to give McCreepy the benefit of the doubt and assume that's sarcasm.
Remember, each new author doesn't have to outsell Scalzi to generate opportunity cost. The breakeven on units for each book is 2.5 percent of Scalzi's individual book sales. Assuming the average new Tor writer sells 10,000 books, (and the biggest publisher in SF had better be able to sell that many) that means each of the 13 Scalzi books has to sell at least 402,308 copies for Tor to break even on the opportunity cost from a reasonable unit sales perspective. And each new author who proves capable of selling more than 10k copies only makes the decision that much worse for Tor. You will notice that none of the Scalzi allies attempting to defend the deal ever bother to work through the actual math of it, preferring to rely instead on general phrases like "a hell of a lot".

However, there are two very real and even significant justifications for preferring 13 John Scalzi books to 523 new author books even if the future sales estimates tend to favor the latter. Hines doesn't bring them up, presumably because they highlight my point about how there are 3.4 million reasons the deal is shutting out new authors. It is more expensive, and therefore less profitable, to edit, print, and distribute 523 different authors than one. Even if we use the EFA's very conservative guidelines and assume an unrealistically low production amount of $5,000 per book, those 523 authors would cost Tor at least $3 million more in production costs than producing John Scalzi's 13 books will.

Furthermore, there are a limited number of available slots in the retail channels, even for Tor. Barnes & Noble is not going to endcap 500 different Tor books; they probably don't even carry that many in total. But again, this supports my larger point about how the increased centralization of traditional publishing tends to lock out new authors and midlist authors alike. That was why I stopped even talking to traditional publishers years ago; as a midlist author who sold 30k to 40k copies per book, I knew I was of little interest to them. These days, if you can't at least threaten six digits in your two chances at publication, you will need to be a gatekeeper's pet in order to stay in traditional print for long. The dirty little secret of traditional publishing is that its profits are no less dependent upon constant churn than the average stockbrokerage.

And this points to the best part of what increasingly looks like a pretty good deal for Scalzi: he is locking in Tor's marketing focus on his behalf, although again, at the expense of its other authors. And that, combined with what we have learned about Pan Macmillan's unhappiness with its editorial product in the UK, leads me to suspect that PNH is feeling the heat from above and has therefore thrown a bit of a Hail Mary in order to buy himself more time.

Since we're on the subject of openly clueless statements about me at File 770, let's address two of their creative takes on theology while we're at it:

CPaca on June 1, 2015 at 3:27 pm said:
VD isn’t a Christian, despite claiming he is. The belief that Satan rules the world instead of God is some form of Christian Gnostic heresy. One has to wonder if Wright is fully aware of who he’s hanging out with.
If this were a science fiction novel, the dialogue would end here, with the Atheist Who Knows the Bible Better than the Bible-Thumping Bigot gloriously triumphing. Of course, this isn't a science fiction novel, and in fact, their knowledge of Christianity literally doesn't rise to the level of Out of the Silent Planet. Do they not even understand what "Silent Planet" means? Do they not truly not understand the entire purpose of the Word made flesh, much less the Crucifixion?

The belief that Satan rules the world is the very essence of Christianity!

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’
-Matthew 4:1-11

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:  about sin, because people do not believe in me;  about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;  and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
- John 16:7-11

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
- 2nd Corinthians 4:4
Stevie on June 1, 2015 at 3:56 pm said:
I think we agree that VD is not a Christian; I think that VD would happily abandon his not very good grasp of Gnosticism on the grounds of ‘rhetoric’, or ‘Aristotle’, or whatever flavour of evasion he happens to feel like at any given time. Given his obsessive hatred of John Scalzi I suspect that VD cheers himself up by imagining him as ‘left behind’.

Sadly, Wright’s track record as a professed Christian suggests that he doesn’t understand Christianity either; his appalling outburst about Terry Pratchett is wholly incompatible with Christ’s commandment that we should love each other. Wright appears to be under the impression that Christ really didn’t understand being God, and that Wright has much better ideas as to what God actually wants than the reprobate who spent his time with the poor, the sick, the hungry, and consorted with dreadful people like tax collectors…
I can't abandon what I don't have. And as for the idea that John Wright's rejection of the late Pratchett's euthanasia activism is somehow incompatible with Christianity, that is simply false. Terry Pratchett was not only, as Neil Gaiman described him, a very angry man, he was a very wicked and cowardly man.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.
- Hebrews 1:9

But it is true that as a man outside the Church, we should not judge him; God will do that. In any event, the extent and intensity of their hatred for me should suffice to testify as to whether I am a Christian or not.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
-  John 15:17-19

Let them hate. I never forget who they hate first and foremost.

Labels: ,

205 Comments:

1 – 200 of 205 Newer› Newest»
Blogger Cail Corishev June 02, 2015 5:13 AM  

I like how he twice mentions Card and Scalzi in the same breath, implying that they're in the same ballpark in terms of sales and draw, without actually saying so in such a way that he can be called on it.

Does spelling out "Mister" make one's argument more sophisticated?

They're just so weird.

Blogger Positive Dennis June 02, 2015 5:50 AM  

I find it amusing that by the metric of Christianity announced by 770 that C. S. Lewis is not a Christian!

Blogger The Original Hermit June 02, 2015 6:00 AM  

Their understanding of Christianity doesn't even rise to the level of Ozzy Osbourne. Either they abandoned the Church as 10 year olds, never knew it, or are some hippie feel-good denomination like Episcopalians. Most adults would know better than to pretend at expertise at somewhat they are wholly ignorant.

Blogger Student in Blue June 02, 2015 6:15 AM  

"Ha! He's not a Christian because he doesn't 'love everyone, duuude!'"

Forget Ozzy Osbourne's level, they're not even on the theological level of South Park.

Blogger Salt June 02, 2015 6:20 AM  

It's quite evident these people are of this world. They love what God has emphatically stated He hates. They don't even understand who is in control of this world right now even though they've been told. They're poster children for the fallen one.

Blogger Tommy Hass June 02, 2015 6:45 AM  

"his appalling outburst about Terry Pratchett is wholly incompatible with Christ’s commandment that we should love each other."

..........he really had to go there, didn't he.

Btw, if Satan rules this world, why would you pray to God to help you RIGHT NOW?

If God can overrules Satan whenever he likes, he is the real ruler of this place.

Blogger Franz Lionheart June 02, 2015 6:46 AM  

It's funny to observe lefties using the magic B word : "Publishing is a business. As a business, Tor also earn money by selling books." It's almost as if by merely invoking the language of their ideologically opposed capitalists, the SJW make those future revenues guaranteed happen. Just like magic: say the right spell, "business abracadabra", and profits appear, so let the riches flow!

Surely lots of businesses make profits; many also make losses. Moreover, those profits lie in the future; 10 years from now. So, Vox's argument of limited financial resources today and thus crowding out those 500+ diverse authors today absolutely applies.

Blogger VD June 02, 2015 6:47 AM  

Btw, if Satan rules this world, why would you pray to God to help you RIGHT NOW?

1) Because we are told to do so. 2) Because God stages the occasional intervention.

If God can overrules Satan whenever he likes, he is the real ruler of this place.

No. Bad logic. Obama can overrule Erdogan whenever he likes too, but that doesn't make him the real ruler of Turkey.

Blogger Markku June 02, 2015 6:51 AM  

Satan may be the ruler, but he's not the sov... s...

I'll get me coat.

Anonymous p-dawg June 02, 2015 6:57 AM  

When people talk about "love", I always wonder if they mean commandment-keeping. After all, "For this is the love of God, that you keep the Commandments."

Blogger The Original Hermit June 02, 2015 7:02 AM  

"Satan may be the ruler, but he's not the sov... s..."
I'm having a hard time with this.
Sovereign state?
Soviet state?

Anonymous Lulabelle (68) June 02, 2015 7:04 AM  

"I'll get me coat."

lol. Practicing a bit of Irish parlance?

Blogger Markku June 02, 2015 7:07 AM  

I'm having a hard time with this.

The word "sovereign" has certain baggage here. HEAVY baggage.

And "I'll get me coat" is from The Fast Show. Just search YouTube for it.

Blogger The Original Hermit June 02, 2015 7:11 AM  

Ok, thanks.

Anonymous Peter Garstig June 02, 2015 7:16 AM  

"every dollar you pay to X, you can't pay to Y".

Really hard to not understand.

Anonymous indpndnt June 02, 2015 7:20 AM  

In 'Mere Christianity', C.S. Lewis refers to Christians as being behind enemy lines, in enemy occupied territory, and receiving communications from our leader, and other such phrases.

Also, in John 18: "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

I love all these people who know better than Christians but can't be bothered to read one of the simplest overviews of Christianity (Lewis) or even the 4 gospels. It would take a couple afternoons, at most!

Blogger Jack Ward June 02, 2015 7:25 AM  

@ Indpndb
It would take a couple afternoons, at most!

Ah, but there is comprehension and a certain open mindedness and willing to believe.
Seems to me the 'they' can't be bothered with the effort and time.

Blogger Franz Lionheart June 02, 2015 7:34 AM  

There is one way, however, where Tor/ Hines would win the argument, and Vox lose it: if Tor had obtained specific bank finance to fund Scalzi's 10-year 13-book project. This would break Vox's "limited financial resources" assumption, and Tor wouldn't have taken the $3.4m away from the aspiring 500+ diverse first time authors.

I apologise in advance for the detailed description, but the specifics are important here, so please bear with me:

With my banker's hat on, this would have to work as follows: The bank extends $3.4m to Tor specifically for the purpose of funding the Scalzi deal, so Tor cannot use it for general expenses. The 13-book contract would secure the loan, similar to a mortgage. So if Tor didn't earn enough revenue out of Scalzi's 10Y project, and were they to default on the loan, then the bank would repossess Tor's part of the book deal. All IP of already published or submitted books would transfer from Tor to the lender; and Scalzi would still have the obligation to finish the outstanding books and also deliver them to the bank. Since they really aren't in the publishing business, the bank would in this case sell on the Scalzi contract to the highest bidder, in order to recoup part of their losses from the defaulted loan. That would most certainly be another publishing house, perhaps even Castalia.

This funding hypothetical gives a real benchmark to decide whether Vox or Hines are right : Because in case it would mean that an independent 3rd party, disinterested in the ideological battles of publishing, only interested in cold cash, namely : this bank underwriting the deal, would have to actually believe Tor's story about strong future sales.

It is crucial for the argument that our hypothetical bank would fund that specific deal. It cannot simply be Tor's house bank's general purpose credit facilitiy from which the $3.4m advance is funded. For two reasons: 1. This generic funding would have been available to the hypothetical 500+ diverse aspiring first timers as well. 2. The third party bank would not have specifically bought the sales success story of this 13-book project, but they would have lent trusting against all future revenue of Tor (plus any guarantees extended by Tor's owners). Against these "generic" revenue forecasts, the bank would set a fixed credit limit, and Scalzi would have decreased the remaining available finance under that limit by $3.4m. So then we'd be back with Vox's "limited resources" assumption, his opportunity cost argument would carry the day, and Scalzi and PNH indeed have crowded out 500+ aspiring diverse first time authors.

So the only way for Tor to counter Vox would be for them to open up the funding specifics of the deal, evidencing that indeed they got a bank to believe their revenue success story for the project, and have obtained specific, as opposed to general, funding for it.

Perhaps needless to say, I doubt they will, because in all likelihood, they haven't.

Anonymous Lulabelle (68) June 02, 2015 7:40 AM  

"And "I'll get me coat" is from The Fast Show. Just search YouTube for it."

Television? NO. THE HORROR.

Blogger VD June 02, 2015 7:41 AM  

There is one way, however, where Tor/ Hines would win the argument, and Vox lose it: if Tor had obtained specific bank finance to fund Scalzi's 10-year 13-book project. This would break Vox's "limited financial resources" assumption, and Tor wouldn't have taken the $3.4m away from the aspiring 500+ diverse first time authors.

That is true. Fantastic, can you imagine what a derivatives industry based on yet-to-be published fantasy novels might look like? To say nothing of how badly it would end.

Blogger JP June 02, 2015 7:41 AM  

It's such a fundamentally simple concept I can't understand how people can't make the connection: if God were the current ruler of the world, why would there be suffering and injustice (the real kind)? But if He's not, why do you even need to wonder who's in charge?

This isn't some theological or philosophical fine point. It's the kind of logic even a 7 year old can understand.

Anonymous Saved June 02, 2015 7:45 AM  

The ironic truth is that, stastically, atheists on average display more "christ-like" behaviours than do evangelicals -- including greater charitable contributions, more respect for tolerance and diversity, advocating for the poor and disenfranchised, etc. Truly Jesus would vote Democrat (if he existed...)

Futhermore observe Scalzi versus Theo....

Scazli is a good person by any christian standard. "Vox Day" is a bad human being by any standard.

Do you notice how not a single priest is here to defend Theo with utterings of mystical divine justification for "Vox Day"? Even your holy priests and clerics avoid associating with Theo...

Surely your god commands you to denounce Theo. Why don't you listen to your god?

Blogger Tommy Hass June 02, 2015 7:47 AM  

"Scazli is a good person by any christian standard."

Scalzi promotes Sodomy.

2/10.

Blogger Markku June 02, 2015 7:48 AM  

Do you notice how not a single priest is here to defend Theo with utterings of mystical divine justification for "Vox Day"? Even your holy priests and clerics avoid associating with Theo...

PastorJDC, your services are needed.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 02, 2015 7:49 AM  

Ah, but there is comprehension and a certain open mindedness and willing to believe.

Yes. I know people who have heard the Gospel preached from the pulpit every Sunday of their lives, plus read it privately and gone to bible study classes, yet the main thing they took away was that Jesus said to love everyone and never judge others. His time here seems to have been sweetness and light, all forgiveness and good news, except for that crucifixion thing.

When I read it, I mostly see Him casting out demons (they seem to have been everywhere, which makes you wonder where they went), talking about sin, and telling people they're probably going to Hell unless they completely change their lives and abandon their attachments to this world.

Probably just a difference in translations.

Anonymous Blue Meanie June 02, 2015 7:50 AM  

The ironic truth is that, stastically, atheists on average display more "christ-like" behaviours than do evangelicals -- including greater charitable contributions

This should get interesting. Source, please. I'll ignore the rest of your post, but this one I just gotta see.

Blogger pyrrhus June 02, 2015 7:58 AM  

The ironic truth is that, stastically, atheists on average display more "christ-like" behaviours than do evangelicals -- including greater charitable contributions, more respect for tolerance and diversity, advocating for the poor and disenfranchised, etc. Truly Jesus would vote Democrat (if he existed...)

False. Republicans give more than twice as much to charity as Democrats. Furthermore, I know quite a few atheists, and they give nothing or next to nothing to charity, and are all Demoncrats of the worst order....

Anonymous Nathan June 02, 2015 7:58 AM  

"Scazli is a good person by any christian standard. "

By any Christian standard, there are no good people. All are lawbreakers and criminals. Everyone. It doesn't matter if we're talking about Scalzi and Vox or Hitler and the Pope.

Anonymous Lulabelle (68) June 02, 2015 8:00 AM  

Saved:
Concerning the issue of atheism and charity, charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:
“ The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.[1] ”

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[2][3] The study revealed that forty percent of worship service attending Americans volunteer regularly to help the poor and elderly as opposed to 15% of Americans who never attend services.[4][5] Moreover, religious individuals are more likely than non-religious individuals to volunteer for school and youth programs (36% vs. 15%), a neighborhood or civic group (26% vs. 13%), and for health care (21% vs. 13%).[6][7]

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in Policy Review regarding data collected in the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS) (data collected by in 2000 by researchers at universities throughout the United States and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research):
“ The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.[8] ”

ABC News reported:
“ ...the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation.

Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much. And Arthur Brooks told me that giving goes beyond their own religious organization:

"Actually, the truth is that they're giving to more than their churches," he says. "The religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly non-religious charities."[9]
(source: http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_charity)

Blogger The Observer June 02, 2015 8:02 AM  

Lulabelle:

I predict you'll be DISQUALIFIED because Conservapedia.

Never mind genetic fallacy.

Blogger VD June 02, 2015 8:02 AM  

The ironic truth is that, stastically, atheists on average display more "christ-like" behaviours than do evangelicals -- including greater charitable contributions, more respect for tolerance and diversity, advocating for the poor and disenfranchised, etc.

1. False. Atheists do less charitable giving than every religious group.
2. False. God hates tolerance; it is "the sin of Jeroboam". Diversity is not a Christian virtue.
3. False. Atheists advocate for the poor and disenfranchised by creating more of them.

Anonymous Blue Meanie June 02, 2015 8:04 AM  

Smackdown on Saved.

I predict we shall not see him again. He threw his dart and returned to the weeds.

Blogger VD June 02, 2015 8:06 AM  

By any Christian standard, there are no good people. All are lawbreakers and criminals. Everyone.

True. And it is entirely possible that John Scalzi is a less sinful man than I am. That would not be much of an accomplishment. Then again, God has made saints of worse men than Scalzi or me.

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 8:08 AM  

VD,
Absolutely right. My only comment is that without actually looking at all into it, I don't recall knowing or specifically being told that this is Satan's domain. Of course it is a trivial thing to look up, and takes about 10 seconds to verify theologically and about 5 minutes of observation to verify practically, but since my looking into Christianity I have found life long "Christians" shocked to their core at my assertion that this is the domain of Lucifer.

They literally freak out when you show them the references in the Bible.
What is preached in churches apparebtly is often of no higher quality in terms of accuracy than what is taught in accademia.

Anonymous Anonymous June 02, 2015 8:09 AM  

FND: @Saved

The God i don't believe and the Bible i don't read is much better than the God you believe and the Bible you read. Typical atheistard drivel.

Blogger Joshua Dyal June 02, 2015 8:11 AM  

If God can overrules Satan whenever he likes, he is the real ruler of this place.

I like how Markku put it yesterday. Sure, God is the ruler of the world, but he's a ruler in absentia, who only intervenes on request to the faithful or to accomplish the plan. And the plan requires that Satan be the regent in the meantime, tempting and trying mankind to prove them worthy to obtain "all that the Father hath."

VD isn’t a Christian, despite claiming he is.

This is a funny pattern. ISIS isn't Islamic, despite claiming it is. Nazis aren't socialists, despite claiming that they are.

Blogger Markku June 02, 2015 8:13 AM  

Giuseppe, here's Matthew Henry's commentary (which is pretty standard approach to the verse) on 2Co 4:4

2. The god of this world hath blinded their minds, v. 4. They are under the influence and power of the devil, who is here called the god of this world, and elsewhere the prince of this world, because of the great interest he has in this world, the homage that is paid to him by multitudes in this world, and the great sway that, by divine permission, he bears in the world, and in the hearts of his subjects, or rather slaves.

Anonymous joe doakes June 02, 2015 8:16 AM  

The point of the "squeezing out" comment wasn't whether it would make Tor money, but that Tor was putting a White Male ahead of women and persons of color, which is the charge they usually at us. Vox, you're exactly right, their explanation is simply hand-waving to distract us from the truth.

Imagine it the other way around: a White Male author gives Tor a pile of money on the condition they must NOT publish works by 500 women or persons of color, in order to make it financially impossible for those lesser authors to break into the business and thereby keep SF/F as a White Male preserve. TOR would make out even better under that scheme - they get the dough plus whatever they make on his book sales - but do you imagine SJWs would applaud that situation?

Anonymous Lulabelle (68) June 02, 2015 8:19 AM  

" Blue Meanie June 02, 2015 8:04 AM

Smackdown on Saved.

I predict we shall not see him again. He threw his dart and returned to the weeds."

Or maybe the school bus arrived.

Blogger Iowahine June 02, 2015 8:19 AM  

Giuseppe:but since my looking into Christianity I have found life long "Christians" shocked to their core at my assertion that this is the domain of Lucifer. They literally freak out when you show them the references in the Bible . . .

That's disappointing to hear, but then, MPAI. Job 1:7 and Ephesians 6:12 are also noteworthy.

Blogger Salt June 02, 2015 8:20 AM  

If God can overrules Satan whenever he likes, he is the real ruler of this place.

The King allowed Sun Tsu to cut off the heads of four of his wives. Satan is the current prince of this world as much as Sun Tsu was in command at the pleasure of the King. Either Satan currently is or is not the ruler of this world, and we've been told which it is by the Sovereign.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 02, 2015 8:25 AM  

Or maybe the school bus arrived.

A short one.

Anonymous Porky June 02, 2015 8:28 AM  

Scalzi financially shut out 500+ authors

Not bad for a privileged old white male operating on life's lowest difficulty setting.

Anonymous ZhukovG June 02, 2015 8:29 AM  

It is interesting, given the history of the world, that so few people understand the difference between lawful sovereignty and actual occupation of a territory.

In 1941 no one, outside the Axis, would have acknowledged Hitler's lawful sovereignty over France. But everyone knew he effectively controlled it.

Anonymous T June 02, 2015 8:30 AM  

Does spelling out "Mister" make one's argument more sophisticated?

Ugh, that's nothing compared to when they reply to each other. Since they mostly have the exact same narrative, there's nothing new to add so they just go:

Wow good sir, I agree with you in such a civilized way good sir, can you believe how uncouth these unwashed vulgarities we must parley with are?

It varies between hilarious and nauseating.

Blogger Mint June 02, 2015 8:31 AM  

When I was a new Believer the first bible chapter we discussed most was Ephesian 2. The second verse talks about the prince of the power of the air. I guess not every church teach their new believers this part if many Christians shocked to their core hearing that the world is Satan's domain.

*[[Eph 2:2]] KJV* Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Blogger VD June 02, 2015 8:35 AM  


Does spelling out "Mister" make one's argument more sophisticated?


No, just more Gamma. These are the sort of "men" who customarily refer to their obese she-partners as "Milady".

Blogger Quizzer W June 02, 2015 8:44 AM  

It sounds as though the File 770 speculators might be adherents of the "emerging" church movement. I'd rather drink the bilge of the Supreme Dark Lord's palace than wade through their postings to confirm.

The "emerging" church was started in the '70s to make the "gospel relevant for today," but they pretty much compromised it and it has since been used to culturally appropriate Christianity to fit the progressive agenda. In a "God is not the greatest marketer and we can too" move, a "counter-emerging" church movement began in the late '90s and early '00s called the "emergent" movement. I'm no authority on either of these things, but try not to get them mixed up if you do more research.

Hallmarks of "Progressive Christians," as I think of them, focus on Jesus feeding the poor & curing the sick, Mary & Joseph being homeless, etc. All that stuff about sin, particularly homosexuality, is more of a guideline than, you know, actual things to be concerned about.

Blogger Desiderius June 02, 2015 8:50 AM  

"The word 'sovereign" has certain baggage here. HEAVY baggage."

Reflection on the ultimate sovereignty of God (in His due time) is, and has always been, of great comfort to those with third world problems.

We, and certainly those at File 770, are not (yet) such people.

Anonymous Tom June 02, 2015 8:51 AM  

Boy do my kids wholeheartedly understand that we're constantly in enemy occupied territory. Everybody else wears "naked clothes" when we go out. And, it is no wonder that everyone is concerned to make sure that homeschool kids get "socialized" properly. That's just code for teaching them to become worldly and accept evil.

Blogger Desiderius June 02, 2015 8:51 AM  

Vox is talking cash flow, they're talking (highly speculative) income.

Anonymous MrGreenMan June 02, 2015 8:54 AM  

Here is an example of hating wickedness that God clearly commends:

"9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been."

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 8:55 AM  

Tommy,
Btw, if Satan rules this world, why would you pray to God to help you RIGHT NOW?

Because God CAN help. And often does.

If God can overrules Satan whenever he likes, he is the real ruler of this place.
No. Satan is the result of God being Love. Forcing Satan to not be Satan anymore is not Love. It is force. Satan is basically the result of free will.
He has been given this realm to have some chance to reconsider his choices. In time, his time will run out, because a LOVING God, necessarily implies JUSTICE. And after all avenues of redemption have been refused, ultimately, justice must be done. And justice at the edges is very definite.

Now stop following Satan in your false religion and see the light, you heathen. Come, walk beside me, it's not too hard.

Anonymous T June 02, 2015 8:57 AM  

VD isn’t a Christian, despite claiming he is.

This is a funny pattern. ISIS isn't Islamic, despite claiming it is. Nazis aren't socialists, despite claiming that they are.


This is part of their core ideology. If they were to admit these people are actually legit members of that group, they would be making enemies of that group and also crystallizing their own identity in opposition, both of which are anathema to their strategy.

They depend on the belief that "all logic leads to our ideology" so nobody against them is legit and all legitimate roads of thought must either lead to them or be Done Wrong somehow. It allows them to attempt entryism.

Also, they absolutely must avoid having any identity attached to themselves. They are Logic and Reason itself, in the flesh. They are The Path. In a way, they think they are the secular equivalent of Jesus.

Blogger Josh June 02, 2015 9:02 AM  

The ironic truth is that, stastically, atheists on average display more "christ-like" behaviours than do evangelicals

Explain the lack of atheist hospitals.

Blogger Bobo #117 June 02, 2015 9:04 AM  

l love it when unrepentant morons with less than a Sunday School learnin' of basic Bible lower themselves to instruct the Saints.

As Christians, we're deputized by Jesus to occupy and overcome, we do things in His name and by His power.
Satan was defeated at Calvary, this is a long term mopping-up action, meant in part as a training ground for those who will rule & reign with Christ.

A good exposition on this theme is John MacMillan's book, The Authority of the Believer, it's free, and it's awesome.

http://hopefaithprayer.com/the-authority-of-the-believer-john-a-macmillan/



Anonymous MrGreenMan June 02, 2015 9:08 AM  

It certainly would be easier to either (1) not be judged but "just loved", or (2) to have all of your crookedness straightened without any real cost to you. This is not on offer. We are told that God would love to see all come to repentance and do the right thing (although, sadly, this is not expected):

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."

And we are told he chastises those whom he loves:

"My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, for whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights."

But what they continue to call for is a god that would force them to do exactly what they want; a tyrannical kindergarten teacher of eternity; God wants those who will repent of their own accord, as apparently this ability to have good judgment in harmony with God's own code is needed in round two.

"Jesus said to them, 'Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'"

Blogger Tim June 02, 2015 9:09 AM  

Does referring to your wife as "tha missus" equate to "milady"?

Anonymous Elijah Rhodes June 02, 2015 9:10 AM  

In the book "Who Really Cares" by Arthur Brooks, he compiles data from charitable contributions showing the following order, from most charitable to least:

Compassion as measured by charity:

1. Conservative Christians
2. Liberal Christians
3. Conservative Secularists
4. Liberal Secularists

Anonymous ??? June 02, 2015 9:11 AM  

@Franz,

Not sure how that changes the argument. Just as Tor's cash on hand is not unlimited, their ability to borrow is not unlimited. The opportunity cost of a "Scalzi specific" loan is an equally large loan to fund a large number of beginning authors. Right?

But I ain't no banker...

Blogger bob k. mando June 02, 2015 9:13 AM  

Saved June 02, 2015 7:45 AM
The ironic truth is that, stastically, atheists on average display more "christ-like" behaviours than do evangelicals



which would be why, every time the subject is studied, atheists are found to donate LESS money per capita than Christians, and to do less volunteer work ...


Saved June 02, 2015 7:45 AM
Do you notice how not a single priest is here to defend Theo


you will now produce AT LEAST "a single priest" to defend the Christian sensibilities of Scalzi ... that predates this assertion of yours.

why a 'priest' should have inserted himself into the Scalzi / Vox shit flinging contest, i have no idea. stupidity?



Saved June 02, 2015 7:45 AM
Surely your god commands you to denounce Theo. Why don't you listen to your god?



citation needed.

my God commands me to denounce lies and unrepentant liars and to eject the money lenders from the temple.

prove that YOU are not a liar.



Tommy Hass June 02, 2015 6:45 AM
Btw, if Satan rules this world, why would you pray to God to help you RIGHT NOW?
If God can overrules Satan whenever he likes, he is the real ruler of this place.



you will note that Islam produces the same theological confusion that atheism does. i wonder why that is?


Mint June 02, 2015 8:31 AM
I guess not every church teach their new believers this part if many Christians shocked to their core hearing that the world is Satan's domain.



there is no Christian Righteousness any many of the old line denominations here in the US. you'll note how many of them are ordaining openly practicing homosexuals ...

this could never happen in a 'church' which was preaching the Word by, you know, reading from the Bible.

speaking of World War G / T ... Bruce Jenner is getting an award at the Espys for getting a sex change ...
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/caitlyn-jenner-honored-arthur-ashe-courage-award-2015/story?id=31451997

this nation is degenerating to the openly Satanic so fast, it's not even funny.

Anonymous Leonidas June 02, 2015 9:14 AM  

The opportunity cost of a choice is the value of the best alternative forgone, in a situation in which a choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives given limited resources.

Seriously, the fact that they don't get this is damning enough on its own. It's time for them to go home. They're not big enough for this ride.

Anonymous Elijah Rhodes June 02, 2015 9:16 AM  

The CEO is the ruler of the company, even though the board can fire him at any time.

Blogger Harsh June 02, 2015 9:17 AM  

VD isn’t a Christian, despite claiming he is.

So a man can self-identify as a woman, but a Christian cannot self-identify as a Christian. Got it.

Blogger VD June 02, 2015 9:18 AM  

Does referring to your wife as "tha missus" equate to "milady"?

No. The only thing that is as bad as "Milady" is talking to or about a woman with verbs ending in "th".

Blogger Harsh June 02, 2015 9:22 AM  

Does referring to your wife as "tha missus" equate to "milady"?

Only when followed by "increased my allowance to $50 a week!"

Blogger Shimshon June 02, 2015 9:24 AM  

I often refer to my wife as "the wife" to friends. Gets a laugh. When I'm feeling particularly solicitous about her, then she's "my wife."

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 9:26 AM  

can you imagine what a derivatives industry based on yet-to-be published fantasy novels might look like?

Yes. It looks remarkably like libor based interest rate swaps. "derivatives"? check; "industry"? check; "yet-to-be"? check; "published"? check "fantasy"? check...manipulated by insiders for personal gain? check.

Blogger bob k. mando June 02, 2015 9:27 AM  

Cail Corishev June 02, 2015 5:13 AM
Does spelling out "Mister" make one's argument more sophisticated?


you'll know they're super cereal when they say it twice:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NDjt4FzFWY


T June 02, 2015 8:57 AM
. It allows them to attempt entryism.



note that National Review has come out in favor of queer marriage and the Republicans appear to have elected as Speaker of the House a man who was living in a pretty open homosexual relationship:
http://www.steynonline.com/6987/everybody-did-it

Blogger bob k. mando June 02, 2015 9:30 AM  

Shimshon June 02, 2015 9:24 AM
When I'm feeling particularly solicitous about her, then she's "my wife."



when you get to feeling froggy you can refer to her as "one of the wives".

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 9:30 AM  

This is a funny pattern. ISIS isn't Islamic, despite claiming it is. Nazis aren't socialists, despite claiming that they are.

What are they to believe? Their lying eyes, or what they really want to believe?

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 9:32 AM  

when you get to feeling froggy you can refer to her as "one of the wives".

Just refer to her as "Number 1 wife"

Anonymous RedJack #22 June 02, 2015 9:33 AM  

The fact that Satan is currently the occupying power on Earth is simple theology. It is literally the basis of Christian theology. We, as a people, fell and took all creation with us. The Second person of the Trinity became Incarnate to save us from the occupying force.

The Eastern Orthodox have a wonderful icon of the Harrowing of Hell showing Christ breaking the prison of Hell, and freeing the Old Testament people.

God rules the Universe, but we are still behind enemy lines.

Blogger Russell (106) June 02, 2015 9:35 AM  

"One has to wonder if Wright is fully aware of who he’s hanging out with."

Oh noes! Is Mr. Wright aware that Mr. Day is a cad and a rounder of the worst sort? He should denounce Vox Day in a grand public ceremony. We can all wear uniforms and sing praises to Dear Leader. Maybe even hold a bonfire *wink*

Do these people have any other playbook except Alinsky? They run through his rules as if they are programmed.

Blogger thule222 June 02, 2015 9:37 AM  

I thought that Christianity moved away from the 'Satan rules the world' idea when they took over the establishment which made it awkward. If Satan has the kingdoms of the earth in his gift, how did you get to be say, King of France?

Blogger Josh June 02, 2015 9:38 AM  

Do these people have any other playbook except Alinsky? They run through his rules as if they are programmed.

To be fair, it's worked for them so far.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 9:39 AM  

I’m studying the faith of my ancestors (Catholicism) right now and despite wanting very much to connect with it, I’m having a very hard time with it. I think I’m very pagan by nature. I find so much of Jesus’ teachings to be just so contrary to what I view as proper and right.

For example, just last night I was reading the Synoptic Gospels and comparing each disciple’s take and focusing as much as I could on Jesus’ direct teaching. Here is just a small sample of key teachings I had serious issues with (yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, taking issue with God, but I can’t seem to help it)

Matthew 5:28

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

I seriously hope that “lust” is not the same as “desire,” or I do not see how this command could possibly be fulfilled, women being as beautiful as they are. Otherwise, I committed adultery some 30 times yesterday evening alone, at happy hour, District Commons bar, Penns. Ave.

Matthew 10:34

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Okay, now you’re talking…but….

Matthew 10:35-37

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.


Here the pagan in me really gets its back up. These organic, family connections are the basis of our social life, of our civilization. How often have we of the right argued this?

Again, I hope this means merely that duty to love God is more important than that to love family, and not that the family connection isn’t even in the same league.

I’m trying, folks.

Blogger Positive Dennis June 02, 2015 9:42 AM  

Just a thought .... Is serving in the military serving the god of this world?

Blogger Dexter June 02, 2015 9:48 AM  

So a man can self-identify as a woman, but a Christian cannot self-identify as a Christian.

Many, many self-identified "Christians" are merely Leftists attempting to subvert Christianity. Including, unfortunately, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 9:52 AM  

@Dexter

Many, many self-identified "Christians" are merely Leftists attempting to subvert Christianity. Including, unfortunately, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope.

This is another problem I have with Christianity.

I hear this type of statement a lot. Too much.

You know what it reminds me of?

Trotskyism.

"Many, many self-indentified "Communists" are merely Rightests attempting to subvert Communsim, including, unfortunately, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China."

I never bought there story of some kind of thoeretical pure communism that the real-world-actually-existing communists were wrong about, and I don't beleive that the real-world-actually-existing christian leaders aren't, in fact, Christian leaders.

Blogger Mint June 02, 2015 9:54 AM  

@bob k. mando
there is no Christian Righteousness any many of the old line denominations here in the US.

Well, whatever denominations or how they preach and why they preach as long as they preach Christ I still rejoice. There are places on earth which to own bible is life threatening.

*[[Phi 1:18]] KJV* What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 9:59 AM  

Franz,
No. Ponzi schemes are nit ti be classed as "endless money" we know bankers think that way, but most bankers also need to be high on cocaine, fucking a chicken while beingvfucked by a donkey just to feel something. Sane human beings don't use that sort of "thinking".

Blogger Markku June 02, 2015 10:00 AM  

Christian, by explicit Biblical definition, means "disciple of Christ".

Act 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

So, if you are his disciple, you are a Christian. If you aren't, you are not a Christian.

Mere identification with Christendom also doesn't make you a Christian by the Biblical definition.

Blogger Josh June 02, 2015 10:06 AM  

I seriously hope that “lust” is not the same as “desire,” or I do not see how this command could possibly be fulfilled, women being as beautiful as they are. Otherwise, I committed adultery some 30 times yesterday evening alone, at happy hour, District Commons bar, Penns. Ave.

It's not.

Blogger Josh June 02, 2015 10:07 AM  

From bible hub:

epithyméō (from 1909 /epí, "focused on" intensifying 2372 /thymós, "passionate desire") – properly, to show focused passion as it aptly builds on (Gk epi, "upon") what a person truly yearns for; to "greatly desire to do or have something – 'to long for, to desire very much' "

Lust is focus plus desire. Obsession.

Blogger Josh June 02, 2015 10:09 AM  

Just a thought .... Is serving in the military serving the god of this world?

Jesus never condemned the soldiers he interacted with.

However, note that he also did not condemn the woman caught in adultery.

Blogger Josh June 02, 2015 10:15 AM  

Here the pagan in me really gets its back up. These organic, family connections are the basis of our social life, of our civilization. How often have we of the right argued this?

Again, I hope this means merely that duty to love God is more important than that to love family, and not that the family connection isn’t even in the same league.


There's a reason that his disciples often said "these are hard sayings."

If the Son of God, without Whom nothing was made, approached you and said "follow me," should that take precedence over everything else?

Blogger VD June 02, 2015 10:19 AM  

The debate is over.

No, it's not, and if you make a false claim like that again, you'll be spammed. You are blatantly lying.

Blogger Stephen Ward June 02, 2015 10:20 AM  

@Jourdan

* Matthew 5:28 -- Lust is sexual covetousness. Like covetousness it goes beyond simple desire for a good thing to unlawful desire for that thing. Admiring a neighbors lawnmower isn't wrong, but wanting it so badly that you would consider stealing it from him is. The classic case in scripture is in 1 Kings 21.
Minimally then, avoiding lust means that married and engaged ppl are off limits for sexual advances or congress. Admiring a beautiful woman or strong man isn't strictly wrong, but if you visit the car lot everyday to drool over the new models, you will eventually break down and buy one. Scripturally, you can only buy one once.

* Matthew 10:35-37 -- family connection isn't in the same league. Loyalty to God is supposed to trump all others. When your family is oriented toward God, you can be loyal to both at the same time, but if family and God ever conflict, you are supposed to follow God. Theologically, it is love for God that allows us to love family, not the other way around. Meditate, for example, on Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (the larger context is important too, but those are the key verses)

Blogger bob k. mando June 02, 2015 10:27 AM  

Jourdan June 02, 2015 9:52 AM
and I don't beleive that the real-world-actually-existing christian leaders aren't, in fact, Christian leaders.


trivially disproven:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipope

Jim Jones ran a 'church' ... even though he was a bisexual atheist socialist who infiltrated the Methodists with the intention of subverting them.

was he 'Christian'?

Jehovah's Witnesses deny that Christ is divine or part of the God head.

are they 'Christian'?



Mint June 02, 2015 9:54 AM
Well, whatever denominations or how they preach and why they preach as long as they preach Christ I still rejoice.


indeed, that is the problem.

along with all else, they teach salvation through works and tend to deny that Christ was anything particularly special.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 10:29 AM  

I very much appreciate the help here on these matters, guys.

I understand the lust/desire distinction made and it makes complete sense to me.

On the family matter, yes, I do understand what you are saying.

But isn't that really the root of today's race problem? If one holds, as I do, that one's race is really extended family, then a racial nationalism makes sense. If one holds to this Christian view, then the African, Chinese, Mexican and Korean Christian is more "family" than that, isn't that so?

Anonymous The Original Hermit June 02, 2015 10:35 AM  

I'm having a hard time believing you're not a troll Jourdan. I want to believe you're inquiring in good faith, but my bs meter is pinging.

Blogger Blume June 02, 2015 10:35 AM  

You obviously just got here because we have a rabbi and beau.

Blogger Rabbi B June 02, 2015 10:36 AM  

"VD isn’t a Christian, despite claiming he is."

This again? Sheesh. This tripe never fails to amuse. Especially when it comes from people who could probably really care less about the truth and substance of VD's worldview. Why not simply ignore VD then? Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

I am reminded of the advice of one of our sages:

"But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men . . . . in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (cf. Acts 5)

So, let them war and rage against the G-d they do not believe in and the all the people who represent Him and His interests in this world. The substance of our life and the power that animates us will be manifest and we will all stand before an audience of One someday to give an answer for the life that we led while dwelling here in the Shadowlands.

It is only the Judge of all the earth who has the authority to say to us either: "Well done, good and faithful servant." or "Depart from Me, I know you not, you workers of lawlessness". I can't speak for anyone else, but I know which words I want to hear on that great day.

What he thinks is truly our only concern at the end of the day. I suspect that VD, like many around here, are only concerned about pleasing the One who has the power to throw us into hell and try to live accordingly.

"Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets." (cf. Luke 6).

More people simply need to put their heads down, mind their own business, and get down to the serious business of gratefully serving the Master of the universe.

Blogger ScuzzaMan June 02, 2015 10:40 AM  

Jordan: you need to read the book if you want to understand the book. The conflicts therein are far more often between religions than between religion and non-religion. Just as in politics, people misuse labels. Republicans are not republicans and Democrats are not democratic. Many Christians are pretenders - people who want to think well of themselves but don't have the spine to actually be consistently Christ-like.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 10:40 AM  

@ The Original Hermit - Completely in good faith, I assure you. I'm simply just learning, never having taken an interest in religious matters for very long until now. Also, long time poster here, with a long record of non-trolling!

Anonymous MendoScot June 02, 2015 10:41 AM  

I always found the Cockney's use of "the ball and chain" amusing - mostly for the offense it caused to feminists - but then I moved to Argentina where "wives" and "handcuffs" is the same word, esposas.

Also "Pope" and "potato", but at least they change the gender there. Although in one restaurant I went to, the menu in English offered Pope salad.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 10:44 AM  

@Bob and ScuzzaMan-

Yes, I understand completely that there are false Christians, false leaders, people who misuse labels to their own advantage.

That's not what I'm pointing out.

What I'm saying is that when venerable, ancient Christian institutions keep producing leader after leader of a particular view, it doesn't do much good to stand outside of St Peter's and declare all of it invalid, anymore than Trotsky's denouncement of Stalin and his Soviet Union meant that both were not emblematic of Communism.

I read last night that we are to judge a tree by its fruit, are we not?

Blogger Quadko June 02, 2015 10:45 AM  

Really appreciate the analysis. I find this window into a different world and mindset fascinating, thanks for taking the time.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 10:45 AM  

@Bob and ScuzzaMan-

Yes, I understand completely that there are false Christians, false leaders, people who misuse labels to their own advantage.

That's not what I'm pointing out.

What I'm saying is that when venerable, ancient Christian institutions keep producing leader after leader of a particular view, it doesn't do much good to stand outside of St Peter's and declare all of it invalid, anymore than Trotsky's denouncement of Stalin and his Soviet Union meant that both were not emblematic of Communism.

I read last night that we are to judge a tree by its fruit, are we not?

Blogger Jim June 02, 2015 10:46 AM  

Just to throw another log on the fire about Satan ruling this world:

Luke 4: 5-7; The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Blogger Michael Maier June 02, 2015 10:47 AM  

Giuseppe June 02, 2015 8:08 AM
VD,
Absolutely right. My only comment is that without actually looking at all into it, I don't recall knowing or specifically being told that this is Satan's domain. Of course it is a trivial thing to look up, and takes about 10 seconds to verify theologically and about 5 minutes of observation to verify practically, but since my looking into Christianity I have found life long "Christians" shocked to their core at my assertion that this is the domain of Lucifer.

They literally freak out when you show them the references in the Bible.
What is preached in churches apparebtly is often of no higher quality in terms of accuracy than what is taught in accademia.


This is seriously one of the things that led me to Jesus. This blog exposed simple facts about the Bible no one else had. I kept thinking "No, that can't be true".

Satan running this world seems beyond dispute. And it makes more logical sense than anything else. And many Christians that have spent their whole lives in the church don't seem to get it, despite it being pretty clear in the text.

Satan doesn't have to do much to pull the wool over folks' eyes.

Blogger Michael Maier June 02, 2015 10:52 AM  

ScuzzaMan June 02, 2015 10:40 AM
Many Christians are pretenders - people who want to think well of themselves but don't have the spine to actually be consistently Christ-like.


Well to be fair, that 'CONSISTENTLY" is sort of an impossible standard.

That's just one bone I intend to pick with The Big Guy someday at the hope-for gripe session. Before Judgement, after... doesn't really matter. On my good days, I hope I'll be far too gun-shy to actually open my mouth, but I have an immense capacity for stupid.

Blogger t.c. June 02, 2015 10:53 AM  

The only thing that I would add to this discussion, and fully aware of the fact that I am an atheist who hasn't read the New Testament in probably 15 years so acknowledges his own ignorance, is that there is a lot I see said around here that doesn't sound Christ-like, which is where the anonymous hit-and-runners come in and loudly shout "Vox isn't a Christian!" I wish they wouldn't do that, and would actually try to explain or back up what they're saying.

I'm not going to say anymore that Vox isn't a Christian because I don't know what truly lies in his heart, I just take him at his word. Also - I'm not a Christian, so it sounds silly to basically accuse others of something that... I would be guilty of as well...? I'm also not one of those atheists who preaches that "true Christians are all about tolerance and acceptance..." That's not true, at all. I read the Bible enough in my 20 some years as a Christian to realize the false gospel there. Christ taught love, and trying to increase the kingdom of Heaven, but he also taught right and wrong, sin is sin, and unrepentant sin can keep you away from eternal salvation.

The only thing that really throws me off around here from Vox and others is the almost prideful insults against others, whether its gamma men being pussies, or making fun of fat women, or numerous other things I see often. And there seems to be great pride in doing that. If you acknowledge those insults as a sin then so be it, all men are sinners by the standards of Christ, but we should be repentant of our sin. This is not me trying to cause an argument - its just what I've noticed. If anyone would care to point out the words of Christ to show me why I am in error, I would be greatly interested. Thanks.

Blogger The Original Hermit June 02, 2015 10:54 AM  

@Jourdan My apologies then, given our hosts well known stance on immigration and foreign cultures in general, it seemed a deliberate attempt to derail the thread.

Blogger James Dixon June 02, 2015 10:57 AM  

> The ironic truth is that, stastically, atheists on average display more "christ-like" behaviours than do evangelicals -- including greater charitable contributions...

What was that saying? Oh, yes: SJW's always lie.

> These are the sort of "men" who customarily refer to their obese she-partners as "Milady".

Hey, those frying pans and rolling pins hurt when they hit.

> Does referring to your wife as "tha missus" equate to "milady"?

If you have to ask, you're not married.

> The opportunity cost of a "Scalzi specific" loan is an equally large loan to fund a large number of beginning authors. Right?

Not exactly. The interest rate on the loan for Scalzi would probably be less, as he's a proven commodity.

Blogger Daniel June 02, 2015 10:59 AM  

They spell out "Mister" with a lisp.

Blogger Rabbi B June 02, 2015 11:00 AM  

"Just to throw another log on the fire about Satan ruling this world:"

And yet one more log . . .

The L-rd said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the L-rd, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” . . . .The L-rd said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (cf. Job 1 also Ezekiel 28 ff.)

Blogger Markku June 02, 2015 11:03 AM  

It's true. Satan rules.

Wait, that came out all wrong!

Blogger Danby June 02, 2015 11:06 AM  

I thought that Christianity moved away from the 'Satan rules the world' idea when they took over the establishment which made it awkward. If Satan has the kingdoms of the earth in his gift, how did you get to be say, King of France?

God is sovereign, in that his is the world and all that is in it. He has the right to rule.
Satan is the Lord of this rule. He is the Usurper, He rules through all his agents, who are all of us when we act in his interest.
Satan demonstrably has more sway in this world than God, because he has more adherents. If there were an election tomorrow, it would be a landslide.Satan panders and flatters and promises and cajoles and shames an ostracizes, just like any political actor. And we fall for it.

Jourdan, Christ's point about lust was that the sin is committed in the intention, not the act. When you decide to commit adultery, even if you are not admitting it to yourself, you have obtained the guilt of the act.

The point about family is that, at some point in every Christian's life, you will be faced with a choice between God and family. I've never known anyone to be exempt. As Solzhenitsyn said, "But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? " When that choice comes, and it will, you have to choose God.

Blogger ScuzzaMan June 02, 2015 11:07 AM  

Jordan. Wars were fought and people burned over the controversy of the roman church bring Christian or not so this is hardly a new question. Neither side were unbelievers in the sense of being non-religious. When Paul mentions unbelievers he is not talking about atheists. It's a mistake to read that word as meaning what it means today. The people who crucified Christ - Jew and Roman - were very religious people.

Anonymous MendoScot June 02, 2015 11:08 AM  

Bear in mind that one of the more fatuous commentators over at file770 goes by the handle of Rev. Bob. In his own words:

Remember, I know that crowd. In less than a month, I’ll be spending another weekend with them, on their home turf. If I were not committed to the event for other reasons, I would probably not attend… but as it stands, honor demands that I do. I’ll plaster a grin on my face as I walk among a few hundred people who circulated “I Stand with Uncle Timmy” buttons last year, who read books about terraforming while believing that humans couldn’t possibly have anything to do with climate change, and I will do my best to blend in.

Blogger Stephen Ward June 02, 2015 11:09 AM  

@Jourdan

But isn't that really the root of today's race problem? If one holds, as I do, that one's race is really extended family, then a racial nationalism makes sense. If one holds to this Christian view, then the African, Chinese, Mexican and Korean Christian is more "family" than that, isn't that so?


I don't understand the question you are asking here, or even the conflict you have seen. Would you explain further?

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 11:20 AM  

@ Stephen Ward

What I'm saying is that if we are commanded to love God above family, this would include loving God above an extended family group, like a racial group, as well. This, combined with the brotherhood of Christian believers, would place, for example, a Christian European-American man into a God-sanctioned closer relationship with fellow members of his spiritual family, including, say, a Christian Mexican, than that with, say, an atheist fellow European-American.

When nearly everything I believe and hold dear tells me that the Chrisitan European-American and the atheist European-American share hundreds of civilization-maintaining views, traditions and traits that the Mexican believer doesn't share.

Or, to simplify, this command seems to me to be a command to ignore earthly, human ties in favor of spiritual ties, while, in my view, it is the earthly, human ties that civilization depends on.

Blogger Stephen Ward June 02, 2015 11:22 AM  

@t.c.

"... is the almost prideful insults against others, whether its gamma men being pussies, or making fun of fat women, or numerous other things I see often."

For these two examples,
1) aside from rare hormone disorders, being fat is the fruit of gluttony, a mortal sin
2) the gamma thing is more complicated, but it is related to gluttony, lack of self-control, and effeminacy

Mocking ppl for engaging in either is no different than Christ calling the Pharisees "a brood of vipers" and "sons of Satan"

Anonymous Baseball Savant June 02, 2015 11:23 AM  

I always refer to my 110lbs figure competitor wife as "My ho." or "My skank".

Blogger Cail Corishev June 02, 2015 11:25 AM  

I seriously hope that “lust” is not the same as “desire,”

It's not. If you're serious about this, then in addition to prayerfully reading the Bible, get some good study materials (Navarre makes a good series) and/or get a good priest you can go to with questions (one who doesn't think the Church was founded in 1962).

The Bible is a collection of 2000-plus-year-old writings in translation, filled with unfamiliar cultural references and ideas that are easily misunderstood by the modern mind. You wouldn't just read Ovid and expect to understand all the references and the full sense of every word without other materials and help. (I think some Christians do believe that they can read Scripture alone and expect the Holy Spirit to make sure they understand it correctly, but Catholics don't believe you should count on that, and Catholicism was the context you mentioned.) I've been studying Bible history this year (which my catechism classes never touched), and just knowing where St. Paul was when he wrote each epistle and why, for instance, has added a lot to my understanding of them.

Again, by all means read scripture, a lot. Just don't assume that your first guess about the meaning of a passage is correct. If you think you've found a contradiction or something that doesn't make sense, don't draw any conclusions until you've researched it more deeply. A whole bunch of smart, holy people have gone before you.

Blogger luagha June 02, 2015 11:30 AM  

On the topic of atheists claiming 'VD isn't a Christian!' and 'that doesn't sound Christ-like!' I always like to remember this facebook-level gag:

When you ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" remember that the possible options include flipping over tables, cutting yourself a whip, and flogging people until they flee the building.

Blogger Markku June 02, 2015 11:32 AM  

Lust is illegitimate desire. The nature of the illegitimacy is to be determined from context.

Since in that verse the sin is adultery and not fornication, it is talking about a married man. And the nature of the illegitimacy is that he should only nurture desire towards his wife. Towards other women, it should be quenched.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 11:32 AM  

Full understood, Cail,and completely agree. The problem is that I haven't been able to locate an academic study guide; everything I find seems to be from the Happy-Clappy-Youth-Minister-With-An-Acoustic school.

Navarre, eh? I like it, sounds French. To the Googles!

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 11:32 AM  

Full understood, Cail,and completely agree. The problem is that I haven't been able to locate an academic study guide; everything I find seems to be from the Happy-Clappy-Youth-Minister-With-An-Acoustic school.

Navarre, eh? I like it, sounds French. To the Googles!

Blogger t.c. June 02, 2015 11:33 AM  

@Stephen,

But isn't the primary commandment of Christ spreading the Word and reaching out to others to show them the Kingdom of God? I agree that gluttony is a Biblical sin. But do you think Christ would have approached those sinners and made fun of them for being fat? Kind of like Mary Magdalene - she was a sinner, no doubt. But Christ didn't point his finger and call her a slut. The fact that he didn't is kind of a major point about Christ - she knew that what she did was a sin, but he opened her up to the forgiveness of God and she became a follower. I would think that he just called her a slut, she never would have been interested in following his path and message. I just don't think Christ advocated insulting people for all sins. His condemnation of the Pharisees was because they were specifically condemning others for their way of life and sins, while ignoring their own. Which, to be honest, I kind of see around here... :/

And yes the gamma thing is more complicated. While I wouldn't describe myself as a full gamma, I am fully cognizant of my own, more effeminate mannerisms, reliance on my "feelings", and whatnot, although not in terms of physical attraction to others. But its those ongoing insults that sometimes... sometimes, make me consider dropping back of this site. Which isn't me trying to tell others how to act; this is not my site, I have no right in saying how it should be run. But I stay because I enjoy the interesting back and forth debate.

Blogger RobertT June 02, 2015 11:33 AM  

So what you're saying is Tor is effectively exiting the SF publishing business.

That's reasonable. Although I doubt they realize it. Here's the way I read this. Tor is slipping and grasping at straws for former glory, which is no longer attainable using their old formula. My guess is Tor won't last long enough for Scalzi to collect, or if it does, they will find a way to break the contract. That thing is probably loaded to the gills with back doors. Imagine an NFL player contract where nothing is guaranteed.

Anonymous Hoots June 02, 2015 11:35 AM  

I re-read Lewis' Space Trilogy again a couple weekends ago. One of the things that really strikes me is the reaction to the series among my more liberal friends. They like the first two books, but hate That Hideous Strength. Although the tone of the book is clearly different from the other two, the best explanation is that it simply hits too close to home for them to handle psychologically. Lewis shines a spotlight on the Spirit of this world, and its evil. He is describing the modern political left, and they can't stand it because they are in love with this world.

Blogger BigFire June 02, 2015 11:37 AM  

re: Franz Lionheart

David Bowie once puts out a bond based on the residuals of his catalogue (he wrote most of his own songs). Eventually that bond was rescinded. If David Bowie who wrote some of the best songs of the '70s and '80s based on his considerable catalogue, I don't see how selling future earning of a midlist author will work out.

Blogger Mint June 02, 2015 11:39 AM  

@t.c.

When Christ called Pharisses brood of vipers, I do not think he meant it as a compliment.

Blogger t.c. June 02, 2015 11:42 AM  

Um, I don't think he meant it as one either... ? I'm confused..

Blogger Markku June 02, 2015 11:43 AM  

Aside: Why do I assume that the man in question is the married one, and not the woman so that the sinning man might be unmarried? Because Jesus is clearly saying something surprising to the listeners, and not something trivial. Lusting after your neighbor's wife is already expressly forbidden by the Ten Commandments. That would be as unsurprising as it gets.

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 11:44 AM  

Jourdan,
Welcome.
Regarding your view of race, I think your understanding is right and your persobal view provably wrong.
Civilisation depends on intention and understanding between men. There are probably amazon indios I could understand and relate better to than your average American. That is not to say I could build a civilisation with such people, at least not a technologically advanced one.
When the gap is not so large however, I will take a Mexican I get on with long before I do an Anglo I don't.
Besides, if we are to be in the world and not of it, then it doesn't matter so much if the guy in the metaphorical foxhole with me is a Mexican-Indios, mestizo with strange ideas. What matter is that he's firing in the same direction I am, and that he will be a good brother in arms.

Anonymous trev006 June 02, 2015 11:47 AM  

When nearly everything I believe and hold dear tells me that the Chrisitan European-American and the atheist European-American share hundreds of civilization-maintaining views, traditions and traits that the Mexican believer doesn't share.

Out of curiosity: what are you basing that on? As an example, a Mexican who is against abortion, gay marriage, and secularism in general has many vital things in common with you. By contrast, issues like the rule of law, ethnic solidarity, and republican government are ones that many white atheists have long since stopped sharing with you.

Now, ignoring all earthly ties in favor of spiritual ones is idiotic, so I wouldn't recommend you do that. But if you ignore your spiritual ties, are you missing a vital understanding about your religion?

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 12:01 PM  

But Christ didn't point his finger and call her a slut. The fact that he didn't is kind of a major point about Christ - she knew that what she did was a sin, but he opened her up to the forgiveness of God and she became a follower.

Neither did she revel in and identify herself primarily on the basis of her sin as leftists tend to do. Forgiveness is open to all, but it requires repentance. We are not commanded to to "be nice".

Anonymous Sam the Man June 02, 2015 12:03 PM  

It seems to me a lot of folks who object to Vox's comments regarding persons faults and hypocrisy have failed to see the positive in his criticism. In this modern day there are lots of folks that would like to believe pretty little lies. is it better to let them do that and fail, or is it kinder to hit them with the fact there world view is a denial of reality and that they need a major attitude adjustment?

In the case of a fat chick: Now in my experience is women need love of a man to be come the creatures they are supposed to be. Not a simply rogering, but the deep affection that comes from a marriage. The fact is fat on a young girl reduce here ability to achieve that love, as few men want to have carnal relations with a fat chick. Simple reality check. it is far better for a women to be humiliated and go through a two weed depression, come out of it and make the change so she does lose weight. 20 years hence when she is surrounded by children and a husband the pain will be forgotten or seen as a triumph, whereas the chick who believed fat is beautiful will be lonely, single, sad and on some kind of anti-depressant.

Now to the Pussy boy: There seem to be a lot of them and the society as a whole is attempting to make more of them. If Vox gets through to one of these chaps, aka the red pill or whatever they call it, so that he sees the entire feminist ideology is based on a lie, that women do not want weak men, but like strong ones, and that a man who rules his house is honored, but a man that is ruled in his own house is...well something not very good. Once again, which is better that the man will may some shrew or go without sex, which is necessary to a normal man, or become an adult and do what he is called to do by his very nature, be the king and hero of his family. Make no doubt, a wife needs a man to lean on and children need the security that a strong father provides. To be a pussy boy is a failure to do one's duty as a man.

So I would say Vox pointing out to folks the error of their ideology, in a manner that they cannot avoid may well be a kindness in the long run. You say he is arrogant, but the emotional need of folks to respond to his sarcastic presentation is what engages them, and some will see the light, so to speak. The world we live in this day is full of little comforting lies that lead folks into directions that are harmful to them and their souls. Vox does not engage in that, he tells the true as he sees it, in ways that cannot be ignored.

Some Synagogues and most Churches could use a little of that.

Blogger ScuzzaMan June 02, 2015 12:05 PM  

Jourdan, those civilisational traditions, those eucivic habits of thought and behaviour, are *Christian* traditions, not European traditions. They are mislabeled as such because (A) Christianity flourished here in Europe recently, and because (B) certain people will commit almost any rhetorical gymnastic to avoid giving christianity credit for any good thing whatsoever.

When an African becomes a Christian, he begins to acquire those same habits of thought and behaviour. No matter how white or hi-IQ or educated or seemingly "european" my boy-buggering social-studies teacher neighbour might be, the African is much more my brother.

Anonymous Rob June 02, 2015 12:13 PM  

I thought that Christianity moved away from the 'Satan rules the world' idea when they took over the establishment which made it awkward. If Satan has the kingdoms of the earth in his gift, how did you get to be say, King of France?

If only we could find an answer to this incredibly difficult question, somewhere, anywhere:

Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.
~Romans 13:1

Before commenting on Christian theology, read the Bible, at least the New Testament. Before commenting on history, read a history book, or, better yet, some primary texts on the subject (hint: were medieval thinkers more or less likely to recognize the control of Satan over the world than moderns?).

Blogger Mint June 02, 2015 12:13 PM  

*sigh* should have refreshed before posting....
I see Stephen has beat me to it.
@t.c.

Christ has called people names ( hypocrites, brood of vipers etc), turned tables etc. If the standard is Christ, then this behaviour is among what counts as Christlike. Only toward repentance sinners it is different. Like toward the adulterer woman. Go and sin no more.

When dealing with people who is proud of their vice and sin nothing but ridicule is fit for them. For satan can not stand to be mocked. Do not indulge your feeling when reading comment here t. c. That way you might getting something, learning instead of nursing hurt feeling because of internet insult.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 12:13 PM  

@trav006 - I'm basing that on having been born in and grown up in Los Angeles, from the time I was born when it was 85% European-American to the time I left when it was 65% Mexican.

Yes, absolutely, I have Mexican friends, know a lot of great Mexicans, we agree on a lot, etc. But we don't want the same society and we don't have the same culture.

If you think I'm wrong on that point, I understand, but I ask you to visit L.A. and spend a week there first.

Every race and nation has great individuals. I count among my friends Pakistanis, Colombians, Peruvians, Austrians, Irish and British. But I have many, many more times in common with any random European-American picked off the street than any of them when it comes to culture, traditions, expectations of others, expectations of and the proper role of government, literature, sex relations, etc.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 12:19 PM  

@ScuzzaMan

I certainly understand that the root and branch of our common European and European-American (i.e. Western) Civilization is Christianity, no argument there.

As for the African being your brother, well, there we part ways, and I fear that it is this, pagan-I admit it, sensibility that may keep me from being a Christian. I will never accept any kind of brotherhood with them. I lived too long among them to do so. They are my enemy and my family's enemy and they would do the Reginald Denny dance-of-victory over the dead body of my children if they could get away with it.

Blogger ajw308 (#98) June 02, 2015 12:20 PM  

No, just more Gamma. These are the sort of "men" who customarily refer to their obese she-partners as "Milady".
Use of the word "fancies" means they are more refined, therefore their argument cannot be wrong, at least in their own minds. These are just buzzwords of the warren.

Anonymous Rob June 02, 2015 12:22 PM  

What I'm saying is that if we are commanded to love God above family, this would include loving God above an extended family group, like a racial group, as well.

I think it would be helpful to take a step back. God is the creator of everything that is, the font of all love and goodness, indeed love and goodness itself, justice itself, wisdom itself, who is directly responsible at every single instant for your sustaining your existence, and the existence of everything you hold dear, through sheer love alone, and loved you so much that He willingly became a human being, and was brutally tortured and murdered so that you might spend eternal life in joyous unity with Him. And your issue is that God then tells you that you ought to love him more than members of whatever racial group you happen to belong to?

This objection doesn't seem foolish to you?

Blogger CarpeOro June 02, 2015 12:23 PM  

@Jourdan -

May have missed a response to this, but the part about being set against family stems from the fact that truly following the faith is difficult. As mentioned, it is a narrow path and we all fall off of it from time to time. The closer you adhere to it, the more others including family will feel chastised for failing to do the same. They will do there best to tear you down and pull you off the path to assuage their conscience. I will freely admit I stray from the path more often than I should and struggle to get back on and keep there. I have had Christ in my heart for years, but only recently have I spent more time to truly understand his commandments.
As with the ideas of freedom and a republican form of government keeping to the narrow path of faith is always difficult and many will concede portions of it to feel more at ease or safer. For all of them, the easy path is the one that takes you away from them. Conceding freedoms for safety is the path to tyranny, conceding portions of the republic to "democracy" has lead to oligarchy, and conceding portions of God's word sends us further from him.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 12:25 PM  

@Rob - It indeed does seem foolish. If one has faith.

You see, there is the rub.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 02, 2015 12:26 PM  

my bs meter is pinging.

Mine too; I'm fairly sure where this is headed. But as long as the questions themselves are questions that people honestly ask, they can be worth answering.

On the question of whether we can be loyal citizens of a nation and members of a Church that reaches across borders to all men, there's no contradiction. We can be brothers in Christ with people in other nations without insisting that they are exactly like us in every way. Being spiritual brothers doesn't mean we would make great neighbors or co-workers; there's more to getting along culturally and economically than that.

Jesus said to go baptize all nations, not to bring them all into one. The concept of national sovereignty is ordained by God (even the modern Catholic Catechism admits that and says the state has an obligation to its own citizens first). We can go outside our borders to preach the gospel and feed the hungry as individuals and as a church, while still maintaining our national borders and sovereignty.

(For Catholics to push open borders as an evangelical tool is especially stupid, since the Church already has dioceses and parishes in the nations mass immigration is coming from. They already have shepherds to care for their souls there, and our immigration-enthusiast bishops are trying to put their brother bishops out of business by stealing their flocks.)

Blogger MidKnight (#138) June 02, 2015 12:29 PM  



@RobertT
So what you're saying is Tor is effectively exiting the SF publishing business.

Maybe not the business - in the short term, but they're certainly cutting off opportunities to develop a stable of authors to keep them more viable in ten years time...

Which then brings me around to mcCreepy's argument.

Sure - you can quibble on if it's 500 or 200 - the full opportunity costs in terms of available editors and their salaries, marketing dollars, materiel costs, etc. are more than just the up-front fees, but the fundamental truth of what Vox said stands.

1) The money and effort invested in Scalzi - who theoretically COULD provide a knockout, but doesn't have a history of such - could be used to farm and develop a stable of several hundred authors.

2) These authors could easily be "POC's" or other minorities, so they're potentially locking out hundreds of authors, including minority authors, to pay a white male operating on "easy mode"

2) With that many authors groomed (regardless of color or chromosome), the odds of developing a number of solid midlisters that match or exceed Scalzi's profit ratio is damn good. There will be some losers. There will also likely be a couple knockouts . (OK, OK, I'm possibly delusional in expecting selection for quality of writing vice PC-ness)

In short - they took the "safe" route of the road they already travel. One leading to decline. If they invested in other authors they're not likely to make less money (minimal harm), but are far more likely to improve their long-term stable AND have a much better chance of finding some true, lasting bestsellers (without borrowing people like Weber from Baen). Antifragility in action. Or lack of, from TOR

Blogger Stephen Ward June 02, 2015 12:31 PM  

@Jourdan

"Or, to simplify, this command seems to me to be a command to ignore earthly, human ties in favor of spiritual ties, while, in my view, it is the earthly, human ties that civilization depends on."

The explanation is still a little fuzzy here, but I think you are asking the following question (please confirm/deny)

"On what grounds may a Christian in polity A exclude another Christian in polity B from political power or authority in polity A?"

If that is the question you are asking, then I will explain further if you ask, but fundamentally you are confusing the roles and responsibilities of civil and ecclesiastical government.

In addition, I think you're simply afraid that if you make the Christian ties closer than the human ties, the world will descend into anit-civilizationalism and anarchy. This isn't really a logical question so I can't answer it logically, but I will play a game. Name any 5 anti-civilizational traits or actions, and I will name their root sins. Name any 5 pro-civilizational traits or actions and I can probably name their root virtues.

Blogger thule222 June 02, 2015 12:31 PM  

"If only we could find an answer to this incredibly difficult question, somewhere, anywhere:

Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.
~Romans 13:1"

Ignoring the snark, so God appoints authority figures? Then doesn't that imply that he runs the world?

I'm actually curious. The idea that Satan runs the world makes sense, it certainly explains evil. But the medieval thinkers I'm aware of (very few) tended to stress that God appoints kings who rule by divine right, and that we all should obey the king.

Doesn't that mean that God rules? Certainly the world's favorite person seems to be the king, He gets the most worldly goodies. If he hold his position from God, then being beloved of the world is a sign of God's favor right?

Anonymous Rob June 02, 2015 12:32 PM  

It indeed does seem foolish. If one has faith.

It doesn't strike me as a matter of faith at all, but fairly simple reasoning. That God is all those things I laid out (save Incarnate) is discernible through reason. Surely, the creatory of everything, justice itself, goodness itself, wisdom itself, joy itself, Love itself is more worthy of love than anything else which exists?

Blogger ChicagoRefugee June 02, 2015 12:33 PM  

The ironic truth is that, stastically, atheists on average display more "christ-like" behaviours than do evangelicals -- including greater charitable contributions,

Citation needed. Every study I've ever seen shows that conservatives - including evangelicals - donate much more to charity in both time and money than their progressive counterparts. And Jesus never told anyone to forcibly take money from others to care for the needy. You only get brownie points for using your own resources, not your neighbor's.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 12:36 PM  

@ Cail - Dude, all you have to do is search my comments from way back when to today to see that I'm not some stealth troll or lefty in disguise. The topic was in part on theology, and I just asked some questions.

On your point, I fully understand that this is what conservative/right Catholics *say*, about the open borders issue in much the same way the Trotskyites I knew in college used to *say* that real communism was not about what the Soviet Union was doing.

However, being from Los Angeles, and listening to real life, actually existing Catholic leaders on this issue, I never heard once anyone say anything other than that open borders is Jesus' command.

In fact, the current Archbishop of Los Angeles--who, I think you will agree on me, is an actual expert and high official in the Catholic Church--has just released a nice book in which he spikes the football over this particular racial struggle.

It's called "Immigration and the Next America," by Archbishop Jose Gomez. (They don't bother putting imported Irish-Americans like Mahoney in charge anymore, no need).

"Immigration is a human rights test of our generation. It's also a defining historical moment for America. The meaning of this hour is that we need to renew our country in the image of her founding promises of universal rights rooted in God. Immigration is about more than immigration. It's about renewing the soul of America."

Anonymous Rob June 02, 2015 12:37 PM  

Ignoring the snark, so God appoints authority figures? Then doesn't that imply that he runs the world?

This has been explained numerous times in this thread.

But the medieval thinkers I'm aware of (very few) tended to stress that God appoints kings who rule by divine right, and that we all should obey the king.

The "Divine Right of Kings" is actually a largely Protestant, Early Modern idea.

Certainly the world's favorite person seems to be the king, He gets the most worldly goodies.

Believing that "worldly goodies" is what demonstrates favor from God demonstrates nicely my point about the necessity of actually reading Scripture (or heck, making a good faith attempt to grasp the absolute basics of Christian thought) before making pronouncements on Christian theology.

Blogger ScuzzaMan June 02, 2015 12:42 PM  

thule222: Satan is a court noble in open rebellion against his rightful Lord. He rules only those who follow him, for "whomsoever you set yourselves to obey, his servant (slave) ye are".

The root of his offence at the existence of humanity, and his determination to destroy us, is our dominion, for this is what he coveted, and sought to gain through lies. (interesting overlap with our SJW friends, no?)

Jourdan: you're missing the critical element, which I already referenced, and which Paul described as:

"IN CHRIST there is ... neither Jew nor Gentile, bond or free, male or female."

Only if a man - irrespective of his ethnic or racial or cultural origins - begins to acquire the habits of thought and behaviour of Christ does he become my brother.

Note, not if he calls himself a Christian. If he begins to acquire the habits of thought and behaviour of Christ.

Blogger slarrow June 02, 2015 12:43 PM  

t.c., contrast the actions of Christ with the woman caught in adultery and His actions with the woman at the well.

Consider the sequence: with the woman taken in adultery (who expected justice), Christ first showed her mercy (persuading the crowd to leave) then grace ("your sins are forgiven"), then a call to right living ("go and sin no more".) But she knew she had sinned; heck, the entire episode is her being confronted with the consequences of her sin.

Now think of the woman at the well (John 4:15-18). In this sequence, Christ informs the woman of the presence of living water that is better than the water she is drawing, so she asks for it. But she thinks it's magic water instead of the spiritual water He's actually promising. To correct her, Christ asks for her husband and then confronts her with her sexual sin. It is that revelation that makes the woman tell her village about this man who "told me everything I ever did."

So, back to the point of what's considered "Christ-like". Christ is not Mr. Rogers who "likes you just the way you are." That would imply there's nothing wrong with you, that you're okay, that whatever "vices" you have are at the least not your fault ("born that way") or at the most are something to take pride in and be celebrated. Rather, Christ loves you just the way you are. As Sy Rogers put in the video linked yesterday, Christ values you and wants you to be someone special, but you don't have to already be someone special for Christ to value you.

Christ calls us to respond in love and acceptance to the person who says, "my sin is too great for God to love me." But there's an entirely different approach for those who say, "my sin is no sin at all."

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 12:45 PM  

@ Stephen Ward

If that is the question you are asking, then I will explain further if you ask, but fundamentally you are confusing the roles and responsibilities of civil and ecclesiastical government.

In theory, I understand that distinction perfectly. However, in practice both powers have dropped any call for nations to exist as nations in favor of global open-borders, as everything from the Pope making his first visit as Pope to the Italian island of Lampedusa where he declared that basic Christian teachers require Europeans to welcome Muslim immigrants fleeing North Africa, to the Archbishop of Los Angeles stating that how much we welcome Mexicans is a test of our committment to Christ to working in the Federal Govt and seeing the HUGE number of immigrant visa petitions that have been sponsored by and prepared by various Catholic Charities around the nation.

Again, shall I judge this tree by its fruit? Or by some theory of the tree held by a small band of out-of-power dissenters?

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 12:50 PM  

(For Catholics to push open borders as an evangelical tool is especially stupid, since the Church already has dioceses and parishes in the nations mass immigration is coming from. They already have shepherds to care for their souls there, and our immigration-enthusiast bishops are trying to put their brother bishops out of business by stealing their flocks.)

The RCC leaders pushing this are doing to boost their own political power here. Re-create Mexico here would be a dream come true for them. It never occurs to them to make Mexico more like the U.S. because while that might make things better for their parishioners, it wouldn't help the church bureaucracy much.

Blogger Bruce Lewis June 02, 2015 12:51 PM  

The mere appreciation of feminine beauty is fine. It is when that appreciation becomes fantasizing that lust appears. The reason lust is a sin is that it reduces a human being to the status of a mere means to an end -- a tool, an object. When I see a shapely young woman with long hair and I say, "Wow, what a beauty!" that's one thing: I'm simply recognizing the divine Logos reflected in her form. (The Logos is, among other things, beauty itself.) But if I go on to picture her naked and sweetly suffering underneath me, I have reduced that image of the divine Logos to something less than divine, and less than human. That girl becomes a mere thing (the "object of desire") that exists merely to satisfy my animal impulse to mate.

I probably haven't explained this well, but the gist of all the above is that it is okay to admire a young beauty, but not to fantasize about taking her.

Blogger thule222 June 02, 2015 12:52 PM  

Thanks ScuzzaMan. So Satan doesn't rule the world, but he exerts great influence over it through the actions of those who follow him.

Blogger IM2L844 June 02, 2015 12:52 PM  

I haven't seen such an efficient beat-down in a while. Nice one, Vox.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 12:54 PM  

Again, shall I judge this tree by its fruit? Or by some theory of the tree held by a small band of out-of-power dissenters?

Which tree are you talking about? The fact is, the Pope and his Bishops may all be wrong all day long. That does not affect God, only the RCC.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 12:56 PM  

In theory, I understand that distinction perfectly. However, in practice both powers have dropped any call for nations to exist as nations in favor of global open-borders

So? Both are wrong.

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 1:01 PM  

Yes, Stilicho, I get that they're wrong. Yes, they are wrong. Everyone is wrong except he who is right. This much is obvious but not helpful.

In any case, I don't wish to belabor the point.

If any committed and serious Christians would like to help me as I study the Bible for the first time, please email me at

jeanbaptistejourdan@gmail.com

I would very much appreciate your time and help in understanding this.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 02, 2015 1:03 PM  

In fact, the current Archbishop of Los Angeles--who, I think you will agree on me, is an actual expert and high official in the Catholic Church-

No, I wouldn't agree. To be a Catholic, you have to assent to everything in the Deposit of Faith, as divinely revealed by Jesus Christ to the Apostles and through Scripture, guarded and expounded upon (but never changed) by the Church over the centuries. He clearly does not. (This isn't the place to go into that in further detail, so I'll drop it there.)

Every single politician representing the US government believes that it has the right, under the Constitution, to take wealth from some people and pass it out to others. Does the fact that "experts" and high officials believe that and proclaim it make it true? Or does it mean that none of them are actual followers of the Constitution?

Anonymous clk June 02, 2015 1:05 PM  

The problem here is that this thread is too target rich .. VD should have seperated his Tor rebuttle from his "VD's not a Christian" rebuttle.. it feels too fragmented.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 1:08 PM  

Yes, Stilicho, I get that they're wrong. Yes, they are wrong. Everyone is wrong except he who is right. This much is obvious but not helpful.

In any case, I don't wish to belabor the point.


Fair enough, but are you defining Christian as Roman Catholic? If so, you should probably direct your questions to Roman Catholics like Cail, Corvinus, and others, including John C. Wright, who would all be happy to discuss your questions with you in the context of Catholic teachings.

Blogger JDC June 02, 2015 1:19 PM  

@Jourdan. I sent you an email. God bless you as you dive into God's Word. You will not be the same.

Blogger t.c. June 02, 2015 1:23 PM  

@slarrow

Thanks for the reply. I get what you're saying, I even tried to say the same thing to an extent, but perhaps it didn't come across. I'm not saying Christ was permissive of all sin, and accepts it. He clearly commands to go and sin no more. My point is in discussing how he confronted those sins. He shows them/helps them to understand that they are in sin but that a loving God is ready to forgive them if they are truly repentant. But he didn't point out their sin by making fun of them or directly insulting (with the exception of hypocrites, which he did insult). He didn't call Magdalene a slut, but he did tell her that she was in sin and should stop. So, with regards to the fat jokes I see here all the time, can't you let someone know that the Bible preaches to treat your body as a temple and that gluttony as a sin in a more Christ-like manner; letting them know its a sin, but not making fun of them. In all honesty, which approach would more logically get them to truly consider the teachings of Christ and be more repentant?

Blogger t.c. June 02, 2015 1:24 PM  

*gluttony is a sin* is what my above statement should say

Blogger Stephen Ward June 02, 2015 1:31 PM  

@t.c.

Hmm. Your core error is confusing the condemnation of a group with the response to an individual.

Have the commentators here opened a conversation with "your momma so fat"? Or have their initial remarks been in response to an article or comment posted elsewhere?

You're likely confusing Magdalene with the unnamed prostitite in Luke 7:38. Contra your point, the prostitute comes to Christ weeping and already repentant, so He respondes with mercy. But in that same passage, he insults his host when the man questions the prostitute's priorities in pouring the ointment on Christ.

Christ's condemndation of the Pharisees is laid out in Matthew 23, and is based on their pride and the replacement of God's law with their own - not because they condemned other ppls way of life, but because they condemed wrongly.

For the gamma thing, your personal goal should not be "am I comfortable"? but rather: "What should I be like, and how do I get there?" Keep working at it, and you will improve.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 1:33 PM  

t.c., you as an admitted leftist, have been treated quite well here because you politely engage in debate. Others are not treated as you are because they act differently and generally reveal themselves as trolls who are interested only in slinging mud or disrupting discussions. Those are dismissed and treated as rudely as their words and actions invite. Similarly, few of us see ANY point in being gentle with someone who openly rejects the very idea of Christianity and seeks to use meekness as a sword against the meek. Finally, Christ was gentle where it was appropriate and harsh where it was needed.

can't you let someone know that the Bible preaches to treat your body as a temple and that gluttony as a sin in a more Christ-like manner

Well, I suppose that flogging them out of the Golden Corral would make the point rather effectively.

Anonymous Scintan June 02, 2015 1:33 PM  

When you ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" remember that the possible options include flipping over tables, cutting yourself a whip, and flogging people until they flee the building.

Yes... I like to respond to the

WWJD

by saying something like "Well, he'd call people names, use a dangerous weapon against people and animals, trash a building and tell a woman to quit being a whore, for starters."

That tends to get some great facial reactions.

Blogger ScuzzaMan June 02, 2015 1:44 PM  

Jourdan: the the bible, the term "the world" very rarely denotes the mre physical territory. It more usually, in the context of spiritual conditions here, is referring to the world's PEOPLE.

It is the worship of the people that Lucifer covets, another prerogative belonging rightly only to God. (Think about it; is God jealous over a chair? No, Lucifer covets God's throne only in the sense that worship and obedience are, biblically, effectively synonymous. if Lucifer just wanted a big pretty chair, would not God have gladly given him one? His first creation, his favoured son? Of course He would have. But Lucifer wants to ascend "above the congregation" - it is the obedience of the PEOPLE that he craves. It is the sense of independent dominion. But no creation of God can live independently of God, so in another overlap, Lucifer's ideas about independence are self-negating, self-destructive. Suicidal and homicidal.)

So, Satan is "ruler of this world", of those of us who willfully choose his way (death) over God's way (life).

But he doesn't own this rock, and his claims on the people are disputed. cf Job.

Try also, to counterpoint the relevant but a little one-eyed quotes offered thus far, Daniel 4:

34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

This quote doesn't contradict those other quotes, it helps to complete them.

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 1:53 PM  

Thule222, I was about to blast you too, but I see some falter at answering sime pretty basic stuff here, so...

I'm actually curious. The idea that Satan runs the world makes sense, it certainly explains evil. But the medieval thinkers I'm aware of (very few) tended to stress that God appoints kings who rule by divine right, and that we all should obey the king.

God told the Jews that if they got a King he would oppress them too, as every king does. The Jews nevertheless asked for a king.
It is clearly stated in the New Testament that our fight is not only with the flesh, but with powers and principalities, both spiritual and material.

Your lack of basic understanding of theology is indeed a symptom of lazyness, but also a sign of the times.
Please educate yourself at least a little before arrogantly thinking you are the smartest in the room. For truth often offends the arrogant.

Blogger Rabbi B June 02, 2015 1:54 PM  

The question is simple:

Who's your Daddy?

No one can serve two masters.

Blogger thule222 June 02, 2015 2:05 PM  

Wow, I don't think I've ever been called arrogant before. Well, I'll continue studying and perhaps will learn better.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 June 02, 2015 2:16 PM  

Wow, I don't think I've ever been called arrogant before.

Much less by the Kurgan

Blogger Jourdan June 02, 2015 2:22 PM  

@ScuzzaMan -

I was just replying to your kind email when it just disappeared completely. I have no idea why! Can you please re-send?

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 2:27 PM  

Thule222,
Your first comment in this thread was:
I thought that Christianity moved away from the 'Satan rules the world' idea when they took over the establishment which made it awkward. If Satan has the kingdoms of the earth in his gift, how did you get to be say, King of France?

In one fell swoop you implied Christians took over the ruling of the world from Satan and then tried to pretend Satan wasn't the ruler sobas to supposedly enjoy the fruits of their usurpation.
There are so many typical SJW/gamma, "I am smarter than all of you because science bitches!" cues in that one comment that you know full well, you would not dare utter such ridiculous nonsense in the presence of someone say like the crusader Tancredi. He would have smacked your face once, and told you to apologise quickly before he gave you another. And you would have.

In other words, you know you're talking shit when you do it, and you only do it cause Christian men willing to fight, kill and die made this a world where even the village idiot is allowed to prance about talking shit without serious repercussions.

This blog is a little different. You may get tje Internet equivalent of a psychological smack when you talk shit. So. Be honest. Stop your arrogance right in its tracks and simply ask. People here are kind. I am a heathen myself mostly. And even if I baptise, I will still be a most miserable failure as a Christian, but there are men here who serve in soup kitchens every week. If we are face to face and you even think of making fun of a guy like that, I will happily bitchslap you with a speed that will shock you. And by all ecclisiastucal measures I am a dirty hearhen.
So yes. You have been arrogant.
Please think on that. Ignore me if you like, I am a flawed human probably far worse than you, but I don't speak out of turn, and if I do I either apologise or carry the fight on to whatever is the conclusion.

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 2:32 PM  

Stilicho,
(bwahahahahahah) Man you do crack me up. That may be a "touche" that would require me to wear safety pins round my neck!

Blogger Stephen Ward June 02, 2015 2:36 PM  

@Jourdan

"Again, shall I judge this tree by its fruit? Or by some theory of the tree held by a small band of out-of-power dissenters?"

Hmm. Jourdan, are the leaders of the tree or the out-of-power dissenters (or neither) correct about the nature of the tree?

Are the Marxists or the Trotksyites (or neither) correct about the nature of Marxism?

You are not going to be able to avoid discerning between wheat and tares however much you would like to do so, because they both grow in the same field. Are you in the right field? Which plant is the wheat?

Addenda:
It is wrong as a simple matter of history that leaders of the Christian Church have always and consistently advocated dyscivic agendas. The current fetish for open borders has its roots in theological interpretations that are at most a century old.

Anonymous BGS June 02, 2015 2:36 PM  

One thing leftists are never able to comprehend is opportunity cost.

"Scazli is a good person by any christian standard." Scalzi promotes Sodomy.

Actually he promotes a derivatives market for owed blowjobs. He forgets the crash of 69.

Republicans give more than twice as much to charity as Democrats. Furthermore, I know quite a few atheists, and they give nothing

Leftists give other peoples money, don't try to change your church to accommodate gays my people will put less in the plate then they would tip for an apple martini.

You obviously just got here because we have a rabbi and beau.

Don't forget BigGaySteve's wedding chapel, liquor store, florist, bakery, & church of Bacchus, now offering pre-nups.

Blogger Bruce Edwards June 02, 2015 3:00 PM  

While the 3.4 million is a great deal for Scazli, I wonder how he ever got published in the first place.
I bought two of his books and lost interest in them before I was half way through. I read for science fiction entertainment, Scazli is not entertaining.

Blogger thule222 June 02, 2015 3:08 PM  

"In one fell swoop you implied Christians took over the ruling of the world from Satan and then tried to pretend Satan wasn't the ruler sobas to supposedly enjoy the fruits of their usurpation."

That's what I thought had happened. I was under the impression that most modern churches rejected Satan's rulership of the earth. I also thought the divine right of kings existed in the Middle Ages. Since I'm assured that both statements are false, I'll withdraw my comment. I was wrong and apologize. I didn't mean to offend anyone and was actually seeking information, which I guess I got.

Blogger t.c. June 02, 2015 3:13 PM  

@Bruce,

That is definitely a case of different interests. I just read Old Man's War for the first time. I actually really was loving the first half a lot and then it tapered off a bit for me too. I still am planning on reading the sequel and I want to read Redshirts because I want to see this riff on Star Trek (I'm a big Trekkie) and to see if its as bad as many here have said.

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 3:21 PM  

Thule222,
In which case I apologise in turn for my rush to judging ignorance as malice.

Blogger S1AL June 02, 2015 3:32 PM  

Jourdan -

To clarify some of the issues with scriptural teachings on family, there are a couple of things to consider:

1) The word that is often translated as "hate" is one without a real equivalent in English. The best explanation I have ever seen is that it is best understood as "despise in comparison." As Christians, we are called to place God unequivocally above and beyond all other concerns - as is right for the Sovereign Creator of all. This means that even in the most fundamental of human relationships - family - we must be willing to them aside for the sake of our Lord and his commandments. It's no easy thing.

2) As for the issue of the brotherhood and body of Christ, someone above cited Galatians 3:28. That verse has been used to justify political positions that have nothing to do with the premise of the verse itself: before God, everyone is morally equivalent and justified by the blood of Christ. This means that the Christian is called to treat any other Christian as family before God, setting aside the "natural" relationship.

Within the context of internal (American, I assume) ethnic conflict and strife, Christianity can serve as one of the foundations of a functioning society; it is a common cultural element. Any society needs at least two of these three in common: language, culture, ethnicity. Unfortunately the United States has reached a point where all three of those elements have begun to fracture across the board. Without Christianity as the unifying cultural element, the country is too diverse to be observed as a common culture.

An English-speaking, Christian nation could support a huge degree of ethnic diversity without fracturing. We no longer live in such a nation.

Blogger Quadko June 02, 2015 3:42 PM  

I was under the impression that most modern churches rejected Satan's rulership of the earth.
I know I'm late to the game on this, but there's also the various Christian beliefs on when the "age" that the NT talks about ends.

If Satan was the "god of this age" up to the end of the Jewish age around AD 70's destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, then he doesn't rule now in the Church age. If Satan is the "god of this age" until Jesus' future second coming, then he does rule now in our church "age" that's still the end of "this age".

Churches take different stands on that, just to confuse the issue. Both stands have minor theological "issues", both have at least nominal biblical support.

But that's why you'll run across different opinions in different churches or books, especially if you start crossing geographic and cultural lines.

Blogger Stephen Ward June 02, 2015 3:43 PM  

@t.c.

yes, redshirts is as bad as advertised. Borrow it from the library, don't buy it.

Anonymous Beau June 02, 2015 3:51 PM  

Jean,

I read with pleasure your comment regarding reading the bible for the first time. I'd be glad to render any assistance. Here are a few suggestion you may find of use:

a) Start with the gospel of John. I suppose you already have embarked on this.

b) The goal, that we be ultimately grow into the fullness of the image of the likeness of Christ. This includes, but transcends, cognitive apprehension. Bible study merely to acquire knowledge pales against activty that informs and forms our lives in wisdom and the timeless virtues. Don't stop with mere knowledge; practice & participate in the gospel.

c) Your bible, mark it up. Marginal notes from months or even years before are great touchstones.

d) Your library. Advice here has changed since the advent of electronic resources, but previously, every Christian man was well-served to have at least two Bibles (different theories of translation often can carry theological freight worth unpacking) to read in parallel for study. The nucleus of your library includes an exhaustive concordance, a one-volume commentary, and a bible dictionary.

e) Bible study literature is written at generally three levels; popular, pastoral, and scholarly. Popular level, e.g Wiersbe's Be series. Or 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders are easily accessible to all. Pastoral level stuff, like that of A.W Tozer, his Pursuit of God and Knowledge of the Holy are observations of a man who has been in the presence of the Holy One. And scholarly stuff, much of which is only fully accessible to those trained in biblical and historical languages, but can still be a good read for an intelligent layman, F.F. Bruce's Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free is a liberating book. Gordon Fee's How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth is very informative on methods of effectual study as well as for the content itself. Douglas Moo's Epistle to the Romans is an example of excellent scholarship.

f) When you set out to study, read your selected passage 3 times; first, general reading; second, for words/ideas that catch your attention ( a dictionary comes in handy here); third, zeroing in on grammatical constructions with implications of reality behind-the-scenes so to speak. The first read is devotional and light, but yields easy fruit. The second read is investigative, here, real nuggets of insight are mined. The third is meditative, pleasurable, cleansing, and pleromanol.

Enjoy the journey,

Beau

Blogger Franz Lionheart June 02, 2015 4:20 PM  

The opportunity cost of a "Scalzi specific" loan is an equally large loan to fund a large number of beginning authors. Right?

No, incorrect. That is why I went to a length in my original post to explain that the bank loan would specifically be bound to the Scalzi contract. So if Tor were to default on that specific loan, then Tor's position in the Scalzi contract would move over to the bank. That means this bank would receive the IP in these 13 books as collateral. They would sell on the rights in these 13 books to another publisher, perhaps to Castalia House for say $2m. In which case the bank would have only lost $1.4m of the original $3.4m loan (simplified calculation, ignoring complicating secondary factors such as lost interest on the defaulted Tor loan etc). For this to work, Scalzi would have to play ball and still actually deliver on the 13 books. In other words, this bank finance would have to have been referenced in the original 13-book contract between Tor and Scalzi.

The bank would NOT extend this specific finance to our aspiring 500+ diverse first time authors, for a number of reasons: 1. They are untested. For the Scalzi contract, Tor at least would have had a chance to convince a funding bank of the profitability of this specific project. I doubt they have, but that is precisely why this funding model would be such a good benchmark to test today whether someone independent of PNH actually believes in Scalzi's resellability. For the newby authors, Tor would have absolute zero chance to convince a bank to specifically fund these authors. 2. The bespoke nature of the loan. The bank would have to be careful to structure the legal documentation of the loan such that they would really exclusively obtain the IP in Scalzi's 13 books, so that Tor's assets in case of default wouldn't simply be proportionally split between Tor's lenders. So, severability of the collateral in such a bullet proof way that Tor's bankruptcy judge would agree. For a single $3.4m deal, the expense for the bank to appoint a lawyer to formulate contracts might just be worthwhile critical mass. For 500+ separate tiny $6500 deals, it wouldn't pay off to allow this fixed overhead.

If however Tor just used their non-specific, general purpose credit facility with their house bank, which they surely have up to a limit, then (as I also point out in my original post) indeed any money spent there would reduce the remaining facility for the newby authors accordingly, and Scalzi would squeeze out these diverse aspiring authors.

Think of it in terms of mortgages (specific) versus credit cards or current account overdraft facilities (both general). Assume you want to purchase two houses, same market price today, but one is in a politically stable country, no harsh weather, up and coming area; the other one is in a troubled region with lots of natural disasters etc. Although you are the same you, with your job and capability to pay back any loan, but you'd have a much harder time obtaining a mortgage for the latter house. Because the bank considers the collateral much more risky for it than for the former, despite the same market value today. Otoh, the bank wouldn't give a damn whether you used your credit card or current account overdraft to pay for either house, because these loans are not collateralised at all by the item financed, but just backed by your general future income (ie your job).

Blogger Franz Lionheart June 02, 2015 4:31 PM  

If David Bowie who wrote some of the best songs of the '70s and '80s based on his considerable catalogue, I don't see how selling future earning of a midlist author will work out.

Thanks, I didn't know that about Bowie, whose music I admire.

I fully agree with your opinion. I was just trying to come up with the single possible, and purely hypothetical, way (in my view) how Hines could circumvent Vox's strong opportunity cost argument. Since there is no evidence of such a finance deal from Tor, for the highly likely reason that no such deal exists, Vox wins the argument fair and square.

Blogger Franz Lionheart June 02, 2015 4:36 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous patrick kelly June 02, 2015 4:45 PM  

"I’m trying, folks. "

If you read the scriptures and don't spend a lot of time realizing how miserably you fall short, you're not getting it.....if you don't experience joy in this....you're not getting it........if you think you're finally getting it....you're not getting it............I ain't got it yet.....

Blogger Bard June 02, 2015 4:48 PM  

"Just a thought .... Is serving in the military serving the god of this world?"

Is working at the Federal Reserve?

Blogger Franz Lionheart June 02, 2015 5:04 PM  

Giuseppe

No. Ponzi schemes are nit ti be classed as "endless money" we know bankers think that way, but most bankers also need to be high on cocaine, fucking a chicken while beingvfucked by a donkey just to feel something.

Haha. Indeed I have a number of colleagues for which your colourful description wouldn't be too far off.

But you're missing my original point : it was an if-then, not an absolute, statement.

Only if Tor indeed had received such a loan, only then they and Hines could circumvent Vox's opportunity cost argument with their "business" blah blah. Observe that in this case it would be the bank which would have been fooled by the Ponzi scheme, not Tor. Because Tor would have received the $3.4m for Scalzi's advance, so they still would have as much cash on hand as before, to pay all these 500+ instances of $6500 advances for first publication. The Ponzi scheme would be Scalzi's not-forthcoming or unsellable books, so the collateral may very well be of little value (as you say, Ponzi), hurting the bank, but not the 500+ diverse authors.

But they haven't, so Vox is right and they are wrong re opportunity cost.

Blogger Corvinus June 02, 2015 5:25 PM  

Is working at the Federal Reserve?

Good one. It would make sense that usury is the chain that Satan uses to keep the world under his dominion.

Blogger Nate Winchester June 02, 2015 5:33 PM  

The problem is that I haven't been able to locate an academic study guide; everything I find seems to be from the Happy-Clappy-Youth-Minister-With-An-Acoustic school.

Jourdan, you might enjoy then tektonics.org run by JP Holding (probably the only christian more hated by atheists than Vox) he's big on context and answering questions. At the very least, I think he's a good jump point for finding more information.
http://www.tektonics.org/

Blogger Franz Lionheart June 02, 2015 5:44 PM  

That is true. Fantastic, can you imagine what a derivatives industry based on yet-to-be published fantasy novels might look like? To say nothing of how badly it would end.

I appreciate your acknowledgement that indeed there was a tiny gap in your otherwise bullet proof opportunity cost logic, a highly theoretical one, albeit very hypothetical only. Your derivative analogy is spot on; indeed "derivatives" are merely abstractions of the concept of a loan, the commonality being leverage here. Also your sensible prediction that it wouldn't realistically work, and your elegant way of pointing out that you found the flaw in my hypothetical example, in turn. That is effectively the same as the Ponzi/ David Bowie arguments made above, because neither loan nor derivative can guarantee comparable go-forward quality of the unpublished books. Except your derivative analogy illustrates the reason much more clearly : suppose you have a reasonably successful author. He looks for a reasonably corrupt lawyer (and surely will find one) who will take large short positions in the contracts on the authors forward book without revealing his association with the author. Now the author publishes rubbish on purpose, the derivatives tank, both lawyer and author make a fraudulent killing.

(Apologies for my verbosity. I found the thought experiment entertaining.)

Blogger Stephen Ward June 02, 2015 6:16 PM  

"The problem is that I haven't been able to locate an academic study guide; everything I find seems to be from the Happy-Clappy-Youth-Minister-With-An-Acoustic school."

Seconding Nate's recommendation, you could also read the articles on http://christianthinktank.com/

Anonymous Giuseppe June 02, 2015 7:43 PM  

Franz,
I am glad you see my perspective.

I am sure you are of course "correct" in the technical bullshit-o-verbiage of the bankster class, I am not saying otherwise.

And Vox made it more entertaining by discussing derivatives of future novels as yet unwritten, which sadly, is not really a joke, it's basically how global banking works right now.

I merely reject in toto their whole fantastical house of cards when they say this nonsense is legitimate. Yes, I know it makes life and death for billions of this planet, but bullshit is still bullshit. You can bomb me with nukes and kill me, but you're never going to get me to say black is white. Or that there are 5 lights...

OpenID pancakeloach June 02, 2015 8:13 PM  

Dear t.c., I am #NotYourShield

If you want to criticize the community here, leave the fat jokes out of it. They're far more helpful to this fat woman than yet another white knight concern-trolling on behalf of overweight females.

If I want moral support and diet advice, I go to Tom Naughton's blog. I expect the much-needed kick in the pants for motivation from the Ilk, who dare to speak the ugly truth rather than pretty lies.

Blogger Cee June 02, 2015 9:59 PM  

Recovering fatty here. If you've got a modicum of self-awareness, the mockery does much, much more than "fat acceptance," "health at every size," and "body positivity" do to get you out of a literal death-spiral.

Also, I would not recommend this for Bible Study, but it's fun anyway.

Anonymous ??? June 03, 2015 12:05 AM  

Franz,

Yes, I get the difference between a general and a specific loan. Just seemed to me that their overall capacity to borrow would not depend on whether the loans were general or specific. Having a loan for something specific should (?) crowd out the ability to borrow for something general.

If I have a large mortgage (a specific loan) then the bank is going to reduce the limit on my credit cards (a general loan). Or so I would think. And so if they get a specific loan to pay Scalzi, they'll have less ability to get general loans for no-names. Or so I would think.

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