eNews For The Week Of August 22, 2016
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In This Week’s Issue
In The News
Articles and Commentary
- The Foolishness of Man - (Read)
- The Basics of Geopolitics - (Read)
In The News
Links to interesting articles elsewhere
August 22, 2016
A suicide bomber aged as young as 12 killed at least 51 people at a wedding in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, pointing the finger at the Islamic State group.
— ABC News Australia
August 21, 2016
A blast at an outdoor wedding party in the south Turkish city of Gaziantep has killed at least 30 people and injured 94 more, the authorities say. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said so-called Islamic State (IS) was likely to have carried it out amid reports of a suicide bomber targeting the party. The attack, in an area popular with university students, could be heard across the city.
August 21, 2016
Trial of four Christian pastors including a Czech missionary accused of espionage, waging war against the state and inciting hatred against religious congregations has begun in Khartoum Sunday amid strict security measures.
— Sudan Tribune
August 21, 2016
North Korea Monday threatened to mount a “preemptive nuclear strike” on South Korea and the United States as the allies kicked off their annual military exercise aimed at countering Pyongyang’s potential aggression.
— The Korea Times
August 21, 2016
A top Hezbollah leader this month said that the Lebanese terrorist militia is now capable of not only firing missiles at Israel, but can also launch a ground invasion of the Jewish state. “Israel is closer than ever before to its demise,” Lebanese cleric Hashem Safieddine, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, said in an interview with Mayadeen TV.
— Israel Today
August 21, 2016
President Obama is readying one final push for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest regional trade agreement ever, between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations. And though the odds may be long, a presidency defined by partisan stalemate may yet secure one last legacy — only because of Mr. Obama’s delicate alliance with the Republicans who control Congress.
— The New York Times
August 21, 2016
It was February this year when camel drivers first spotted the Chinese troops staking out a patch of coastal scrub land about 8 miles from the largest U.S. military base in Africa. Chinese navy ships had visited this tiny East African nation before. They sometimes picked up supplies in the old French port, farther down the arid coast, during anti-piracy patrols off Somalia.
— Fox News
August 21, 2016
The catastrophic flood devastating Louisiana is now the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy four years ago, the Red Cross said. “Thousands of people in Louisiana have lost everything they own and need our help now,” said Brad Kieserman, the Red Cross’ vice president of disaster services operations and logistics.
August 19, 2016
Dubbed “death drones”, the missiles will use artificial intelligence (AI) to guide themselves in flight and potentially even choose new targets. Wang Changqing, director of the General Design Department of the Third Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, told China Daily that his country was leading the world in the development of AI weapons.
— The Sun
August 17, 2016
One hundred and twenty years ago, H.G. Wells wrote a novel, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” about what happens when a scientist, in a mad pursuit for knowledge, creates human-animal hybrids. In a word — what happens is chaos. Wells called the book “an exercise in youthful blasphemy.” He may have said the same about the National Institutes of Health today.
— Christian Headlines
August 16, 2016
There is “no scientific basis” for transgender individuals to believe that they are trapped in the wrong body, the American College of Pediatricians argued in a recently released report addressing gender dysphoria in children.
— Christian Post
If you have questions about the World Events of today, drop us a line at: Questions@KIResearch.org. If your question is selected, it will be a topic during the Global Intelligence Update for the week! (The Global Intelligence Update is available only to members of Koinonia Institute. Not a member? Join today!)
For More News Headlines…
These are a few of many from our News Alerts Twitter feed at @kiresearch.
Also, visit our Facebook Page and our Facebook Group.
by Various Speakers
Koinonia Institute presents its 2016 Strategic Perspectives Conference in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Intel and insight to understand the times.
Includes the following speaker sessions:
- Joseph Farah – The Restitution of All Things
- Dr. Scott Carroll – Dismantling a Mummy Mask - Part 1
- Dr. Peter Flint – The Prophet Daniel and the Dead Sea Scrolls
- Paul McGuire – Globalism and Prophecy - Part 1
- Joel Richardson – Mystery Babylon
- William Federer – America has Lost its Memory
- Dr. Scott Carroll – Dismantling a Mummy Mask - Part 2
- Dr. Steve Elwart – You can Run, but you can't Hide
- Jay Seegert – Faith is not a Four-Letter Word
- L.A. Marzulli – The Days of Chaos - Part 1
- Dr. Bob Cornuke – Golgotha
- Paul McGuire – Globalism and Prophecy - Part 2
- Joel Richardson – Turkey and the Coming Caliphate
- Bill Salus – The Now Prophecies
- Ron Matsen – Another Jesus?
- L.A. Marzulli – The Days of Chaos - Part 2
- William Federer – The History of Islam
- Dr. Chuck Missler – Looking Ahead
Available in the following formats:
- DVD – $60.00
- Audio CD – $60.00
- Video Download – $60.00
- Audio Download – $60.00
Articles And Commentary
The Foolishness of Man
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An empty-headed person will gain understanding when a wild donkey is born a human being!
— Job 11:12 (ISV)
An Old Saying
There is a saying “God must have loved stupid people, He made so many of them.” Doesn’t sound very Christian, does it? It is interesting to note that a person no less than Dietrich Bonhoeffer had something to say about stupidity.
In his book, Letters and Papers from Prison, Bonhoeffer wrote:
Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed — in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical — and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.
He believed that stupidity is perhaps less a psychological than a sociological problem. It is a particular form of the impact of historical circumstances on human beings, a psychological indication of certain conditions.
It should be noted here when the term “stupidity” is used, it is not in a physiological context. It is not to disparage those that have mental infirmities. In this article, if a person is termed “stupid,” it is a willful stupidity. To echo Bonhoeffer, there are people in this world who choose stupidity over wisdom. These people could also be called “foolish.”
People who choose stupidity over wisdom are also stubborn in their worldview. These people are not prone to have meaningful discussions about topics, but resort to slogans and many times flawed arguments they mimic from something they read from the internet. When their arguments are challenged, they will repeat their catchwords even more vehemently, but usually with less certainty. Their knowledge of a topic is sometimes a “mile wide and an inch deep.” These people are “under a spell, blinded, misused and abused” down to their core, but they are mindless.
Just because these people have foolish opinions does not make them harmless. These people can also be capable of great evil, but blind to that very evil. That blindness is not limited to those with little education either. As this author has stated, “Remember, it were the engineers who built the ovens at Dachau.” People can be very intelligent and evil and at the same time. A majority of 75 terrorists responsible for some of the terror attacks against the West were college-educated, often in technical subjects like engineering. In four attacks, the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the 9/11 attacks, and the Bali bombings in 2002 — 53 percent of the terrorists had either attended college or had received a college degree. With only 52 percent of Americans having been to college, many terrorists are as well educated as Americans.
Bonhoeffer also made an interesting comment that stupidity is a congenital defect but that, under certain circumstances, people are made stupid or that they allow this to happen to them. In this context, Bonhoeffer was talking about one psychological characteristic of Hitler and his followers. However, this can be said to be true of people in our day as well.
This stupidity has really been brought to the fore in the recent American presidential election season.
Many decry the two candidates that have risen to the top of the political heap from the Democratic and Republican parties. For the first time in American history, both candidates have disapproval ratings above 50 percent. This election will truly be a choice between the lesser of two evils.
The presidential election has only brought this political stupidity to the surface. Voters have manifested this collective stupidity for a long time.
One retiring congressman who wishes to remain anonymous put it this way:
[Voters] know little about our form of government and how it works. Ask them to name the three branches of government, and they’re clueless. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, forget it. I’m lucky if my constituents know my name and what I do. What was it Churchill said? “The best argument against democracy is a brief chat with the average voter.”
I once asked a fellow about the content of the Constitution. “It gives me the right to own a gun,” he replied. “What else?” I asked. “That’s pretty much it.” So there you have it. Another knucklehead with the right to vote.
It’s difficult to maintain a well-functioning democracy if voters do not possess a degree of knowledge in basic civics. The congressman also said voters don’t “take the time nor have any interest to follow what’s going on in Washington. How stupid is that?” Apathy among voters encourages politicians to fool the public. They engage in publicity stunts and trade votes for campaign contributions. How many people have gone into politics with modest means, but left it millionaires?
In this election cycle, candidates contradict (or outright lie) all the time, but few people either notice or care. Politicians mirror the voting public. Politicians cast their vote for people to have everything, but have no idea how to pay for it. Voters say they want a substantive discussion on the issues, but spend their time on the internet looking at “cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe and the next Twitter message.” Americans (and one suspects) most of the voting world know more about celebrities than their elected officials.
The congressman also observed:
All the world’s a stage, and they want to be the star. I know, I know, we’re no different from the narcissists we represent: We’re out for ourselves, we lie when necessary, and money is everything. … It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.
While stupidity is dangerous in politics, it is much more dangerous in one’s faith. That stupidity can have eternal consequences.
Stupid people follow those who are unfamiliar with the Word of God or intentionally distort it. How many people have followed false prophets who preached a message other than Christ’s and fell into a cult? Paul warned of this in Romans:
Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create divisions and sinful enticements that oppose the teaching you have learned. Stay away from them, because such people are not serving the Messiah our Lord, but their own desires. By their smooth talk and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
— Romans 16:17–18 (ISV)
There are also those who blame others for things they have brought onto themselves. Rather than realize they have strayed from God’s word, they will invariably blame others for the state they find themselves. Many times they have turned themselves to God’s abandonment where God’s wrath is visited on the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth of His Word:
Furthermore, because they did not think it worthwhile to keep knowing God fully, God delivered them to degraded minds to perform acts that should not be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and viciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, haughty, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to their parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. Although they know God’s just requirement — that those who practice such things deserve to die — they not only do these things but even applaud others who practice them.
— Romans 1:28–32 (ISV)
Bonhoeffer summed up the problem of the stupidity of Man nicely:
The word of the Bible that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111:10, Prov. 1:7) declares that the internal liberation of human beings to live the responsible life before God is the only genuine way to overcome stupidity. But these thoughts about stupidity also offer consolation in that they utterly forbid us to consider the majority of people to be stupid in every circumstance. It really will depend on whether those in power expect more from peoples’ stupidity than from their inner independence and wisdom.
The Basics of Geopolitics
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Image: Huffington Post
One mission of the Koinonia Institute is to “put current events in a biblical perspective.” It has been the experience of this author that one has to look at the secular as well as the biblical to give a complete view of what is going on in the world. From time to time, we will write on geopolitics in general to give the reader an insight into the nature of geopolitics and both the religious and secular forces that help shape the world.
Geopolitics is the way in which geography and other structural constraints shape people and nations. The study of geopolitics tries to find those things that are eternal, those things that are of long duration and those things that are transitory. It does this through the prism of geography and power. More precisely, geopolitical investigation seeks not only to describe but also to predict what will happen. Those predictions often fly in the face of common sense. Today’s geopolitics is the next generation’s common sense. While we look at times into the future, this is not to say we deal in date setting for the end times. We believe the time of Christ’s return for His Church is not known to anyone. All attempts to fix dates is delusional, a snare, and is unscriptural. A Christian should avoid those who try to set dates for His return.
While the Bible does warn against setting the day and the hour, it also tells us we may know roughly the time and the season of His return. As the signs He has given multiply, we may, with confidence, say His coming is very near and we are living in the days when the Lord will soon return. The Apostle Paul, in writing on the return of the Lord, tells us plainly in First Thessalonians:
Now you do not need to have anything written to you about times and dates, brothers, for you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, “There is peace and security,” destruction will strike them as suddenly as labor pains come to a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape. However, brothers, you are not in the darkness, in order that the Day of the Lord might surprise you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to darkness. Therefore, let’s not fall asleep like others do, but let’s stay awake and be sober.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:1–6 (ISV)
This is a passage which has been tragically overlooked by many Christians.
William Shakespeare, born in 1564 — the century in which the European conquest of the world took place — had Macbeth say history is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. If Macbeth is right, then history is devoid of meaning, devoid of order. Any attempt at forecasting the future must begin by challenging Macbeth, since if history is random then the future, by definition, is unpredictable.
Forecasting is built into the human condition. Each action a human being takes is intended to have a certain outcome, the right to assume that outcome derives from a certain amount of knowledge of how things work. Since this knowledge is generally imperfect, the action sometimes has unexpected and unintended consequences, but there is a huge gulf between the uncertainty of a prediction and the impossibility of a prediction. A life is made up of expectations and predictions. There is no action taken that is not done with the expectation, reasonable or not, of some predictable consequence.
The search for predictability permeates the human condition. Students choose careers by trying to predict what would please them when they are 30 years older, what would be useful and therefore make them money. Businesses forecast what can be sold and to whom. We forecast the weather, the winners of elections, and consequences of war. The fact that human beings make forecasts about every aspect of their existence means they must find every aspect of their existence predictable to some degree.
There are entire professions based on forecasting. The simplest sort of forecast is about nature since it lacks will and cannot make choices. (Saturn will not change its orbit randomly from week to week.) The hardest things to predict are things involving human beings. First, God gave Man free will. Second, the predictors themselves are humans. Their own wishes and prejudices inevitably color their view of how other humans will behave.
Nevertheless, entire sciences exist for forecasting human behavior. Consider economics, that “dreadful science” dedicated to predicting how an economy will perform. Military modeling and war gaming tries to predict how wars will be fought. Stock analysts try to predict the future of stock markets; labor analysts try to predict the future of labor markets. Forecasting permeates society.
All these social forecasting systems work the same way. Rather than trying to predict what any individual will do, they try to generate a statistical model consisting of many individuals, the goal of which is to predict general patterns of behavior. Economics and war share in common the fact that they try to predict the direction of many individual actors interacting with nature and technology.
We as Christians though have an advantage over others, for as those who are not in Christ do not know what the future holds for us. Our end, both here and in the hereafter, is certain.
The KI Resident Study Program
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“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
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