Saturday, July 30, 2016

Freedom from Collapsing Global Technological System Starts with Repudiating Its 1648 Roots

In Latin Christendom, the Age of Christianity came to an exhausted end in 1648. That’s when warring religious factions, Catholic and Protestant, in Latin Christendom’s savage civil war agreed to end their mutual hostilities after almost 130 years. After that, the best minds of what had been Latin Christendom abandoned theology and focused instead on developing what would become the sciences. Unknown at the time, this altered focus initiated a new era in human history: the Age of Exuberant Olympianity. To both understand and repudiate the collapsing Global Technological System (GTS), we need to understand its roots in Olympianity and repent of our devotion to its six false yet destructive gods.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Collapse of US Dollar as World Reserve Currency

The Global Technological System (GTS) began to collapse in 2008. Decisions made by American elites, such as Zero Interest-Rate Policy and Quantitative Easing, have accelerated this collapse. Now the US dollar will soon lose its status as the world’s reserve currency. The consequences will be unpleasant. Patrick Barron, in an article entitled “Why It Matters If the Dollar Is the Reserve Currency,” (July 3, 2015), tells us why.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Too Many Asset Bubbles Bursting Will Hasten Economic Collapse

An asset is any product or service with monetary value. In terms of our Global Technological System (GTS), important assets include automobiles, houses, oil, stocks, and bonds. Any of these assets may suffer inflated prices; that is, they may be sold at prices far beyond their real value. Such inflated prices, and the willingness to purchase products and services at such prices, occur for a variety of bad reasons. Right now, the prices of virtually all important assets of the GTS are inflated. When an asset is overvalued, that asset is said to be in the midst of a bubble. We may say, then, that virtually all assets are currently in a bubble. When these bubbles burst, that will accelerate the collapse of the GTS that we have been experiencing since 2008.
In “The Subprime U.S. Economy,” S. R. Srocco gives examples of asset bubbles just waiting to burst:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Stripping Olympian Elites of Unmerited Glory

The one wholly integrated Global Technological System (GTS) is run by global elites. These elites devote themselves, even more than we ordinary people do, to the six destructive but conventional gods of Olympianity: (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, goddess of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption. Sadly, because—like these elites—we too are Olympians at heart (even those of us who call ourselves Christians), we attribute unusual virtue to them because they are the most powerful in politics, war, etc. But Andy Xie, once the chief Asia-Pacific economist for banking giant Morgan Stanley, thinks we shouldn’t. In a recent article (May 2016) directly about the economic collapse we’re facing, he indirectly strips these Olympian elites of the unmerited glory we Olympians falsely attribute to them. He strips them of it because the economic mess we’re in is their fault.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Preparing Ourselves for Difficulties by Thinking about All Possibilities

As lovers of the Bible, we should be acquainted with the reality of sudden reversals of fortune. In 2349 BC (Ussher), Yahweh caused a great flood which only Noah, his family, and two of each animal and bird escaped (Genesis 6). Although Yahweh sent the prophet Amos around 800 BC to warn the people of Israel to repent or face destruction, his words were ignored until that nation was in fact destroyed in 721 BC. Yahweh sent Jeremiah to Jerusalem with the same message, but the people of Jerusalem and Judah also ignored Yahweh’s warnings and were likewise destroyed in 588 BC. Jesus used the story of Noah to remind his listeners that [i]n the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes (Matthew 24:38-39, Good News Translation).
These biblical examples may helpfully remind us that sudden reversals can happen even to people who understand themselves to be God’s people. Christians in America today, for example, will be no exception to this.
Facing significant global challenges today, we do well to logically consider the whole range of logical possibilities. Logically, those possibilities range from 0: total nuclear annihilation, to 10: a new period of unprecedented peace and prosperity, through 2.5: significant civilizational collapse, 5: a world similar to our own in 2000, and 7.5: a world similar to our own in 1970 (before the US abandoned the gold standard).

Derivatives: Reckless Criminal Gambling Hastening Civilizational Collapse

The Global Technological System (GTS), our civilization, societies and cultures around the world, our very Olympian personalities, all are in the process of collapsing. Jesus is inviting us, as Christians and churches, indeed all of his faithful witnesses everywhere, to make meaningful responses together to this growing calamity. We will do so, however, only when we acknowledge that we do indeed face catastropheIn today’s essay, we will look at the once and future disaster called derivatives.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cause of Catastrophic Collapse: Too Much Borrowing, Too Many Derivatives

The catastrophic collapse of our Global Technological System (GTS) began in 2008. Now it's about to accelerate. William Edstrom (Wall Street and the Military are Draining Americans High and Dry”), helps us to understand why.

Irreversible Global Collapse Has Already Started Because of Too Much Debt

In the past, I have made three assertions about life today. One, our entire world is dominated by a single Global Technological System (GTS). Two, this GTS is dominated by Satan and is the most effective instrument of his Kingdom of Power ever constructed. Three, this GTS is collapsing with unimaginably destructive consequences for all societies, cultures, personalities, and creation.
The New Testament witnesses to Jesus unanimously speak of Satan as the ruler of this world (which includes today’s GTS). They speak this way even though they also affirm that Jesus, through his crucifixion and resurrection, decisively defeated Satan and doomed him and his minions to destruction. The current collapse of the GTS demonstrates the truth they spoke. The GTS expressed Satan’s will for power and all our human lies, illusions, and indifference that supported him. Furthermore, this collapse will end in the widespread destruction, debilitation, and death which Satan always seeks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Harmful Ways of Responding to the Civilizational Collapse We’re Experiencing

So now we know: from a biblical point of view, it is Satan who stands behind the whole Global Technological System (GTS) that spans our globe and dominates our lives. He’s incognito though. It’s the false gods in league with him whom we adore. These are the six conventional yet destructive gods of Olympianity: (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, goddess of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption. Our support for these six obnoxious gods gets a boost from the Flesh, or Unholy Spirit, who dwells within our Olympianity personality (in contrast to the Holy Spirit who burns brightly in our Christian personality).

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Christ's Kingdom of Freedom vs. Satan's Kingdom of Power

Jesus Christ is the truth who sets us free to love and leads us into fullness of life. He demonstrated this through his ministry, death, and resurrection. He continues to demonstrate this through the words of truth he shares with us today.
Through the words of truth Jesus speaks to us today, he frees us to participate in the Kingdom of Heaven. In that kingdom, the truth, freedom, love, and vitality of Jesus matter most. We might call Christ’s kingdom the Kingdom of Freedom.
His kingdom stands in stark contrast to the Kingdom of Power. Power is the ability to control. Olympianity is the religion of power. The Kingdom of Power is run by Satan through six false yet conventional gods of power: (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of power; (4) Venus, god of sex; (5) Pluto, god of war; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption.

Christ's Victory over All Powers of Evil: Already But Not Yet!

In AD 451 Church leaders, gathered at an ecumenical conference in the city of Chalcedon, discerned and affirmed together an extremely important understanding of Jesus Christ. This understanding came to be known as the Chalcedonian Formula. They affirmed that Jesus Christ, as both Son of God and Son of Man, was both fully divine and fully human, with no separation of his divinity from his humanity, with no mixture of his divinity and humanity, and with his existence as Son of God before time having right priority over his incarnation as a human being.
In other words, Church leaders at Chalcedon affirmed that we rightly understand the biblical witness to Jesus Christ only through (what we may call) paradoxical logic. This differs significantly from the sensate logic of what is called the scientific method. Sensate logic states that A cannot be non-A at the same time. Paradoxical logic states that, when it comes to rightly understanding God, whose ways are not at all our ways, we need to affirm both A and not-A at the same time.
Using the paradoxical logic of the biblical witnesses, as affirmed by representatives of the whole Church at Chalcedon, we rightly affirm that the victory of Jesus Christ over all powers of evil is both wholly accomplished and yet not finished, without separation, without mixture, and in the right order.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Summary of Christ's Victory over All Powers of Evil

In The New Demons, Jacques Ellul points out the false gods we moderns adore. We have identified these conventional yet destructive gods as (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, god of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption. But have Jacques and I been right in speaking of gods at all? Our last three essays have been summaries of New Testament passages to various powers of evil. Today we will attempt to express those summaries, and link them to previous meditations on biblical witnesses, in a short meaningful narrative which celebrates the victory of Jesus over all powers of evil.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Powers of Evil from James through Revelation

In The New Demons, Jacques Ellul speaks of the gods we moderns adore. We have identified these gods as (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, god of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption. But have we been right in speaking about gods at all? To find out, we will finish our survey of the New Testament by looking at passages about various powers of evil from the Letter of James through the Book of Revelation.

4:7 We are to commit ourselves to God and resist the Devil who will then run away from us.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Apostle Paul on Powers of Evil

In The New Demons, Jacques Ellul talks about the false gods we moderns adore. But was he really right in doing so? Today we look at passages taken from various letters written by the apostle Paul to remember anew his normative thoughts.

1:21-23 Olympians, claiming to be wise, are actually foolish. Rather than devoting themselves to God, they devote themselves to idols—to images of humans or other creatures.
5:14-21 Following the sin of Adam, death ruled over humankind (14). Following Jesus Christ, all who receive his grace and righteousness now rule in life (17). Following Adam, sin once ruled all of us through death. Through Jesus Christ, grace now rules us all through righteousness leading to eternal life (21).

What the Gospels and Book of Acts Say about Powers of Evil

In The New Demons, Jacques Ellul talks about the false gods we moderns adore, the disinformative myths which explain and justify their existence, and the dysfunctional religion through which we witness to them. The question, however, is this: is Jacques right to speak about false gods? To rightly answer that question, we will turn to the Bible as our normative witness about such things. Today we will recall what is said about powers of evil—Satan, the Devil, demons, etc.—in the Gospels and Book of Acts.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Overcoming Evil with Good: Jesus Freeing Us from Today's Gods, Myths, and Religion

In The New Demons, Jacques Ellul speaks of the gods we moderns adore. Only in the last seven pages does he mention how we, as Christians and churches, might respond creatively to these Olympian gods, the myths they spin, and the religious words, actions, and objects we use every day to affirm our misguided devotion to them.
Jacques warns us right off that this creative response will be difficult. In case we had forgotten, “it has to be understood that Christianity is a break with our society” (222).
Of course we Christians and churches must first allow our own devotion to the gods to be challenged by Jesus through his biblical witnesses. When Jesus uses their words to free us from our devotion to those gods, however, we should realize that this will not endear us to our Olympian neighbors.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Christianity Mistakenly Trying to Beat Olympianity by Becoming More Like It

In The New Demons, Jacques Ellul talks about the gods we all adore. In the last chapter, “Coda for Christians,” he tells us how we, as Christians and churches, remain confused about how to respond creatively to the challenges posed by these gods.
Jacques finds our current responses, as Christians and churches, to the apparently overwhelming strength of Olympianity to be misguided. He agrees with what we have previously discussed: since the 1600s, Christians and churches have abandoned Jesus for a resurgent Olympianity. As Jacques puts it, Christianity has been “mongrelized since the seventeenth century” (209).

Why We Christians Mistakenly Worship Jupiter Instead of Jesus Today

In The New Demons, Jacques Ellul speaks about the gods we worship today, especially Jupiter (the god of politics).
Because devotion to Jupiter is so intense, political activity is considered the most meaningful of all activities. Sadly, this devotion to a most conventional yet thoroughly destructive Olympian god characterizes even Christians and churches. We have developed the strange notion that we are serious witnesses to Jesus, and worthy of attention from non-Christians, only when we get political. How we get political—progressive, conservative, or restorative—doesn’t matter. It’s getting political, showing our devotion to Jupiter so that we are like everyone else—that matters.