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Quantum 134 – Unfriending Australia, World News, Max Lucado, Nepal, London, Estonia, Mourid Barghouti; Rush Limbaugh; Tim Keller, Dave Alvin.

This weeks Quantum is of course no longer being published on Facebook – because of their ‘unfriending’ Australia – but it is published elsewhere as normal.

This week we look at Facebooks unfriending Australia; Nelson Mandela’s chaplain, Max Lucado’s apology, the growth of the church in Nepal, Changing London’s street names, is classical music racist?  Does Scott Morrison not know that rape is bad?  Margaret Thatcher’s old college goes Woke, Humza Yousaf doesn’t know how many sexes there are;   The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, Rush Limbaugh, Tim Keller,  and a great song from Dave Alvin….

You can listen to it on Spotify, iTunes, Podbean or here – 

Here are some of the links.




Max Lucado apologies

And this is a GREAT song with which to end….

Quantum 133 – Happy Chinese New Year; Nigeria, Dutch Feminism, Sir James, Steve Hughes, Scottish Rugby, Banning Prayer, A Mad World, Mary Wilson, and The Rolling Stones





  1. One of the sad and disturbing aspects of Nelson’s Mandela’s imprisonment is the fact that those who convicted and sentenced him would, in the main, have regarded themselves as Christian, yet saw nothing wrong in the virulent racism they practiced.

    Much in a similar fashion the way the Settlers who went to the US – ironically, many of whom were fleeing from religious persecution – and committed genocide against the Native Americans and later instituted the Atlantic slave trade and the subsequent virulent racism that followed; by and large, Christians one and all.

    Very unfortunate about Keller. While I have no truck with his nonsense beliefs, including the ridiculous and pointless practice of prayer I will keep him in my thoughts and sincerely hope he pulls through.

    1. Ark – you have such a narrow, twisted and simplistic view of history! Yes – there were some South African Christians who supported Apartheid – there were also many who didn’t. There were some American Christians who supported slavery and many who didn’t. What is true is that if were left up to secularists like yourself slavery would not have been abolished and there would have been a bloodbath in South Africa. It was De Klerk’s and Mandela’s Christianity that enabled them to sort things out relatively peaceably.

      1. To be fair to Ark, some people do argue the particular, idiosyncratic, form of Calvinism that developed in South Africa led to Apartheid.

        Ark, this academic article may help you answer the question as it promises a more nuanced reading of hiw apartheid arose and its relationship with religion in SA:

        Here is a key para from the end:

        “It would not be wrong to conclude that there were two
        versions of Calvinism active in South Africa in the 20th
        century – the one with a more naïve-orthodox approach
        reading the Bible in fundamentalist way, blinded by a
        nationalist ideology, and another one with a more critical and
        ethical tradition inspired by the message of the Reformation
        that sought to maintain the biblical principle of justice.”

        The article supports Pastor David’s claim about F. W. de Klerk:

        “South African Calvinists have made many mistakes in the
        past, such as the support of a policy of apartheid and injustice
        during its first phase, but it is also true that Potchefstromers
        raised many critical questions about apartheid. It will always
        be a fact of history that the termination of apartheid as a legal
        system was initiated by a Calvinist [de Klerk] who made justice his
        conclusive principle in social life (see Schutte 2005:664–665).
        Democracy in South Africa was initiated by a Calvinist,
        including a new Constitution (Republic of South Africa 1996)
        with worldwide acclaim.”

        From the conclusion:

        “Younger Calvinists from the GKSA, like Theuns Eloff
        (executive of the F.W. de Klerk Stigting) and Flip Buys
        (chairman of Solidariteit), nowadays try (maybe in different
        ways) to avoid the dangers of the old apartheid ideology, yet
        wrestling with the new dilemma of how to relate the concepts
        of national unity to cultural diversity.

        To conclude: From a theological perspective, it is evident that
        the concept of justice (and righteousness) – accompanied by
        that of love – plays a prominent and decisive role in all
        religious and human relations. It is a key feature in the
        message of almost all the prophets of Israel. In the New
        Testament, this approach reaches its culmination. Jesus calls
        upon his followers to seek first the kingdom (of God) and its
        righteousness (Mt 6:33) and Paul refers to righteousness as
        one of the key characteristics of the kingdom of God
        (Rm 14:17). When Peter singles out one word to describe the
        new creation promised by God, he refers to ‘the home of
        righteousness’ (2 Pt 3:13). The new creation will be a place
        where righteousness and justice reign. This is the world we
        should anticipate right now in all our thoughts, words and

        Hope this helps, Ark.

      2. I’ll just sneak in one more important quote from that paper, if that is okay:

        “It is understandable that Calvin as a theologian
        puts the concept of justice in a theological framework – justice
        rests on the veneration of the Lord (Inst. 2.8.11). Although
        Calvin accepts the fact that a Christian may show solidarity
        with his nation, he rejects any form of racism (see Kolfhaus
        1949:332, 343, 352).”

        Unfortunateky, “justice rests on the veneration of the Lord”, seems to have been forgotten by many liberal self-styled SJW priests today, like Rod Bower.

      3. BTW, Rod Bower is arguing against Bernard Gaynor on Twitter tonight. Two complete cranks with opposing fringe views on politics and religion at loggerheads…

        It is disgusting that two supposedly-Christian men are both trying to score political points out of that poor girl’s [alleged] rape. Fortunately, they are both such loony extremists that I don’t think many people take either one seriousky anymore.

      4. @ Dave

        That people like de Klerk ”saw the light”, or that many self-proclaimed South African Christians were wholly against Apartheid, some of whom paid the ultimate price, and many others were incarcerated is not in dispute.

        However, the fact remains, institutionalized Apartheid was justified from a Christian/Biblical perspective, and the National Party remained in power for decades. And it is important to note … they were voted into power.

        Christians have behaved in similar fashion over numerous human rights issues: anti-Semitism , slavery, women rights etc. come readily to mind.

        The usual response from the pulpit and the pew is that these were not ”Proper Christians”.
        I have no doubt the wagons are circling over the Zacharias scandal as we ”speak”!

        If we accept this then the history of the Christian religion will reveal there have been very few ”proper Christians”, if any at all.

      5. Hi Ark

        Thanks for your reply. No, I don’t take that stance at all that they “weren’t real Christians”. Luther became very anti-semitic towards the end of his life, the Afrikaaners presumably thought they were genuinely obeying God with apartheid, etc. I think they key thing is Christians have learnt from these mistakes and made u-turns on realisung their errors, so there is a capacity for self-reflection and admitting they have erred:

        1. As mentioned, F. W. de Klerk and colleagues undid apartheid;

        2. Wilberforce and other evangelicals took the lead in ending the slave trade.

        3. You would find very few Christians in mainstream denominations today who are antu-semitic and the Lutheran Church in Germany is very remorseful over its past mistakes.

      6. Hello again Ark

        I don’t think I fully answered you this morning, so if Pastor David is okay with it, I’ll flesh out my response a bit more:

        1. The church isn’t infallible. It is a xorporate body made up of sinners who often make mistakes and sometimes gets things disastrously wrong. The only peeson who sometimes claims infallibility is the Pope and we know how disastroys some of his pronouncements gave been. 😀

        However, a key aspect of Christianity is admission of sins and repentance. “Repentance” doesn’t just mean saying sorry; it means actively turning away from a sin.

        We know churches have done disastrous things, obvious ones that spring furst to mind being the crusades, the inquisition and the persecution of the Huguenots .

        No douvt many of the perpetrators were “Proper Christians” though many would also have used religion as an excuse for their crimes.

        I think we can sraw a line between “Proper Christians” and false ones, though. After all, much of the New Testament is dedicated to earning Christians about false teachers in their midst. When I complain about people like Rod Bower and Jean tells us about the crazy things going on with the librals amongst the Brisbane Anglicans, these are peoole who reject basic doctrines like the existence of a personal God, a physical, historical resurrection and the deity of Christ. Those people may self-identify as Christians but hy any reasonable, absolute base standard, they are not.

        Likewise people who knowingky and wilfully sin repeatedly and do not relent even when rebuked are hypocrites.

        However tyere are those who believe they are doing the right thing but err and presumably many Afrikaaners were in this category. The fact that the Calvinists in SA have repentee and realise they made a moral mistake though surely points to an absolute moral standard exiating that we, as individuals and a church, can measure ourselves against.

        Anyway, thiee are my thoughts on the matter. Have a great day.

      7. Pastor David and Dave

        There is a new interview with Rod Bower on the ABC today:

        There are some interesting comments in it: joining the priesthood was all about *his* search for identity – he doesn’t say anything about being called by God.

        He talks about Anglican worship being about the five senses, so a bit of a sweeping generalisation there as he is ignoring allof the evangelical/low church Anglicans around Australia.

        Of course he also yalks politics.

      8. @ Dave
        Your closing paragraph is illuminating.

        The fact that the Calvinists in SA have repentee and realise they made a moral mistake though surely points to an absolute moral standard exiating that we, as individuals and a church, can measure ourselves against.

        Your statement completely omits any mention of the tremendous political and economic pressure being placed on SA during this period by, primarily the US and UK /Europe,
        Would Apartheid have been abolished without this pressure? Perhaps. But it is debateable if it would have happened when it did and Mandela would likely have died in Prison.
        Therefore, the notion of supposed Christian repentance being the driving force behind democracy in my country is highly suspect and largely without foundation.

        Furthermore, your comment also suggests that the example set by fellow Christians, Wilberforce and co. (who were not the first to abolish slavery, by the way) was not example enough for those Christians who, once slavery was abolished, continued with segregation and blatant racial discrimination; in the States, for one, and later Apartheid in my country.

        And no, it doesn’t even come close to an absolute moral standard in any way whatsoever.
        I certainly do not need any god to tell me that slavery and racism are immoral – both of which are present in the bible. In fact, slavery is sanctioned by Yahweh, and Jesus said nothing against it.

        If one is going to be brutally honest, there is no example of a ”real Christian” and moral standards are a completely human construct.


      9. Hello Ark

        I eas only talking about theological impact, not international pressure. There again, some of that pressure came from churches outside of SA though. There were obviously numerous factors involved but it was never my intention to write a whole thesis in a brief post!

        As you admit, though, it is speculative to say what would have happened without international pressure.

        “I certainly do not need any god to tell me that slavery and racism are immoral”

        This bit confuses me. What tells you they are immoral? How do you drive your morals? What yardstick do you use?

        “Jesus said nothing against it”

        Do unto others….

        Interesting it was the evangelicals then… Yes, there was still segregation in the USA. Not all Christians are following the lead immediately but over time the anti-slavers were vindicated and, while there are still race problems in the USA, things are gradually improving. If you want to throw in other factors besides religion, as you did with international pressure regarding South Africa, then you have to think of the bitterness after the Civil War in the USA leading to entrenched attitudes on racial issues.

      10. @Dave

        This bit confuses me. What tells you they are immoral? How do you drive your morals? What yardstick do you use?

        I’m pretty sure David will not want this to go way off topic and wandering down a ‘rabbit hole’ – he has already extended me more time on this thread than I’m used to and that is a (pleasant ) surprise, so I’m conscious about overstaying my welcome.

        I’ll put it as simply and straightforward as I can without delving into details.
        Our morality is a product of evolution and there is enough scientific evidence to support this statement and such data are widely available on the internet for any one interested.

        I reiterate. Jesus said nothing against slavery.

        Interesting it was the evangelicals then…

        Excuse me for being a bit dense here…. ”evangelicals then … ” ?


  2. Limbaugh was excellent .

    I remember Rush debating a Leftist who attempted to ridicule Reagan’s “trickle – down” theory of Economics by claiming that ” t – d” never works.

    Limbaugh informed him that quite few Deep Dixie states hosted foreign car manufacturers ( BMW , Audi etc ) and that the Germans were lured there by Democrat run state administrations who offered them huge grants and tax incentives . Why , simply because the largesse – spreading Democrats knew that the benefits in well – paying jobs and subsidiary business activity would cause a “trickle – down” effect.

  3. The Afrikaaners’ anti – Semitism was based on far firmer grounds than those of Bible tales .

    The origins of the Boer War may be largely ascribed to Boers being pushed out of the land they settled by the expansion of the gold mining industry in what became British South Africa. This business was almost entirely controlled by German ( not even British ) Jews .

    One Scottish anti – war MP , Archibald Ramsay , claimed that the Boer War was fought mainly to defend the financial interests of the mining industry and it is not easy to refute this claim.

    Ramsay, in one speech, referred to the British Army as “the Janissaries of the Jews.”

  4. Re the question of classical music’s being racist , I was reminded of an American school teacher’s story about his attempting to introduce, to his mainly Black class , Philosophy as a subject for discussion and kicked off with the usual Ancient Greek suspects.

    After talking for a few minutes he asked the class if they had any questions only to be met with :

    ” Dey all White dudes ,where da Black flozifers be at den ?

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