Saturday, March 30, 2013

Poster of the Week

Maybe I should have titled this - Poster of the weak.

Greg Koukl on Capital Punishment

The Bible and Capital Punishment
By Gregory Koukl
I. The Bible and Capital Punishment
    A. Capital punishment was commanded by God in the Old Testament.
      1. It preceded the Mosaic Law.
        Gen 9:6 Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.
      2. It was based on the dignity of man, i.e. man's transcendent value.
        Gen 9:6 Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.
      3. It was commanded in the Mosaic Law.
        a. Twenty-one different offenses called for the death penalty in the Old Testament.
        b. Only three include an actual or potential capital offense, by our standards.
        c. Six are for religious offenses.
        d. Ten are for various moral issues.
        e. Two relate to ceremonial issues.
      4. "But King David wasn't put to death for his capital crimes."
        a. David understood what justice demanded in this case: "As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die." 2 Sam 12:5
        b. If God chose to set aside punishment, that doesn't mean the punishment is unjust when it is executed. God was the one who required capital punishment in many instances.
    B. Capital punishment was assumed in the New Testament.
      1. God ordains governing authorities:
        a. Jn 19:11 Jesus answered [to Pilate], "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above."
        b. Rom 13:1-2 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
        c. 1 Pet 2:13-14 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
      2. Those governments may practice capital punishment.
        a. Rom 13:3-4 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.
        b. Acts 25:11 If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.
    C. Jesus' ethic of love and forgiveness doesn't disallow capital punishment.
      1. "But Jesus would forgive."
        a. This argument proves too much.
          1) It becomes an argument against any punishment what-so-ever.
          2) What should we do with the criminal we've forgiven?
          a) Life in prison instead of capital punishment?
          b) But Jesus would forgive.
        b. Jesus never challenged the validity of the death penalty.
          1) In Jn 8:3-11, for example, there were no witnesses left to testify against the woman caught in adultery (the Law required at least two witnesses).
          2) Jesus actually upheld the Law here, He didn't abrogate it, but He did so in a way that wouldn't allow the evil designs of the Scribes and Pharisees to be accomplished.
        c. Jesus asked God to forgive, not Caesar; He didn't suggest civil punishment or capital punishment was inappropriate.
        d. We must argue for the coherence and consistency of both Testaments.
          1) The question is not, "Was Jesus right or was Moses right?"
          2) We must also factor in Paul and Peter.
      2. "Jesus was crucified."
        a. I'm not sure what the point is here? Yes, Jesus was the victim of capital punishment, but what follows from that?
        b. The real issue regarding Jesus was not capital punishment, but His innocence.
          1) Peter assails the act of handing over an innocent man to godless executioners.
          2) Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. (Acts 2:22-23)
      3. But what about forgiveness?
        a. God's mercy is always available in His court.
        b. Man's court is another matter, governed by different biblical responsibilities.
    D. One simply can't say that capital punishment is patently immoral on biblical grounds.
      1. Jesus did not "abolish the Law,"
        He fulfilled it, but not in the sense that all laws are wiped from the books. Then we would have no punishment for any biblical crimes.
      2. Matt 5:17-19
        Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

II. Retributionism vs. Rehabilitationism
    A. Each position is based on a particular view of man.
      1. Rehabilitationism
        a. Man is man sick, needing healing.
        b. Man is a machine needing fixing.
      2. Retributionism
        a. Man is a free moral agent who makes choices for which he can be held responsible for.
        b. Man is worthy of praise, resulting in reward, or blame, deserving punishment.
    B. The case for retributionism
      1. Man a free moral agent.
        a. He is capable of choosing good or bad behavior.
        b. He may be influenced by his environment, but not ultimately controlled by it.
        c. We have an immediate awareness of our moral natures, that we freely make moral choices.
        d. It seems to make sense to praise and reward good behavior. If we're not responsible for our choices neither blame nor praise make any sense.
        e. If we are not free agents, then we are determined and therefore not responsible for our behavior, either good or bad. B.F. Skinner was right; we've got to bite the bullet and realize that we're "beyond freedom and dignity."
      2. Crime is not pathological, deserving rehabilitation, but moral, deserving punishment.
        a. The goal of justice is penal, not remedial, moral, not therapeutic.
        b. Two purposes of capital punishment:
          1) Justice demands punishment of the guilty.
          2) Goodness demands protecting the innocent in society.
            a) "Capital punishment is to the whole society what self-defense is to the individual." The Ethics of Life and Death J.P. Moreland, p. 115.
            b) Dennis Prager: "We have a war going on here between murderers and society, but only one side is allowed to kill."
      3. The punishment should fit the crime (lex talionis).
      4. Capital punishment fits capital crimes (crimes that involve the loss of life).
    C. Objections to retributionism
      1. Arguments that prove too much.
        a. Many arguments against capital punishment prove too much because they apply with equal force against any punishment at all.
        b. "Capital punishment is applied unfairly."
          1) Even if this were true, the injustice here applies to those that got away, not to those that got punished. It's never unjust to punish a guilty man if the punishment itself fits the crime (lex talionis). The injustice is remedied by applying it more often, not less.
          2) Better unequal justice than no justice at all.
          3) If one man is paid for a job (he gets what he deserves) and another isn't, how do you rectify the inequity? You don't take away what the first man deserves, withholding his pay because the second man didn't get paid. That would double the injustice.
        c. "Innocent people get condemned."
          1) This is a criticism of any system of justice, not a particular type of punishment. Life is flawed, not capital punishment.
          2) Why must we accept a philosophy that says it's better for 100 guilty people to go free than for one innocent person to be condemned?
          3) Guilty people repeat crimes that injure and even kill other innocent people.
          4) "But death can't be undone." No punishment can be undone.
          5) Our attempts at improving justice here must be at the level of the process of adjudication making any determination of guilt more trustworthy.
      2. Other objections:
        a. "How can you be for capital punishment but against abortion" (the "seamless garment" argument)?
          1) The term "Pro-life" is actually a misnomer. Our case is not for every one's life or every form of life. Pro-lifer's are against the unjust taking of innocent human life, particularly the life of the unborn child.
          2) The right to life is not an absolute; it can be forfeited. This moral right is only prima facie; it stands only until challenged by some greater law, like justice or protecting the lives of the innocent.
          3) We also have a right to freedom, but it can be properly overridden with incarceration when certain conditions are met.
          4) An unborn child has committed no crime that forfeits its life.
        b. "Capital punishment is cruel and unusual."
          1) It's not cruel and unusual, but rather the exact punishment that fits the crime.
          2) This is an appeal to the language of the Bill of Rights, but the ones who wrote those words believed in capital punishment. If one wants to redefine the term for modern times, then he cannot argue from the Bill of Rights itself, because that has the old definition.
        c. "Capital punishment doesn't work; it doesn't deter crime."
          1) It always deters the offender. Dead people don't commit more crimes.
          2) If it lacks in deterrence, it might be because it is not widely exercised or not done speedily enough to be a threat.
          3) The principal goal of capital punishment is not deterrence, but punishment. In that way it works every time.
        d. "Why not a life sentence?"
          1) Confuses a life sentence with a death sentence.
          2) It's unjust (doesn't fit the crime) because the criminal only loses liberty, not life.
        e. "This kind of death is undignified."
          1) In one sense, all death is undignified.
          2) Argues only against certain aggravated forms of capital punishment and not capital punishment itself.
          3) In the final analysis, the question is not the dignity of death, but its equity or justice.
        f. "There's no opportunity of to reform the criminal." Justice is the goal of punishment, not reform.
        g. "Capital punishment violates human dignity."
          1) It is specifically because of man's value and dignity that we punish his moral wrongdoing. We don't punish animals for stealing or killing (we don't punish them, we remove them for our safety).
          2) We hold men morally responsible because of dignity.
          3) "It is based on the assumption that normal adult beings are rational and moral beings who knew better, who could have done otherwise, but yet who chose to do evil anyway, and who therefore deserve to be punished." JPM p. 118
          4) Arguably it is undignified to force rehabilitation on free moral agents who don't want it.
        h. Roman Catholic objections
          1) The Catholic position against capital punishment is somewhat ironic given their position on purgatory, in which even when God forgives a sinner, still he must suffer for his own sins.
          2) What of the practice of penance?

    Study Exercises:

    1. Where is capital punishment first mentioned in the Bible ?
    2. What is the biblical rationale for capital punishment ?
    3. Show how capital punishment was assumed in the New Testament.
    4. Does Jesus' ethic of love and forgiveness disallow capital punishment?
    Give reasons for your answer.
    5. What is the basic view of man behind rehabilitationism ?
    Retributionism ?
    6. How are the notions of praise and blame related?
    7. Reply to the arguments that capital punishment should be abolished because it is applied unfairly and innocent people may be condemned.
    8. Refute the "seamless garment" argument.
©1994 Gregory Koukl. Reproduction permitted for non-commercial use only.
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Course of Action

This is another correspondence course that is available through Calvinistic Cartoons. If you have already mastered this witnessing technique then just print this out and stick it on your refrigerator. Each certificate comes signed by Eddie and Corky and has absolutely no resale value on Ebay.

Corky Ad Contest Entry #16

Many thanks for this old Coca-Cola/Radio ad. This came to us from Lonnie Bomoney of Tipton, North Dakota. Great find! Corky never told me about his guest appearance on this old radio show. Love it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

10 Things I would have said on Facebook

How can they give Argo an Oscar? They didn't actually make the film.

You're so vane, You probably think this song is about a device for indicating the direction of the wind.

Actually, you CAN make an omelette without breaking some eggs, but it tastes terrible.

You can find out all about garden furniture on Wickerpedia.

How do you organize a party in space? You planet.

When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.

Just written a joke about spontaneous human combustion. I'm on fire today.

It was an emotional wedding, even the cake was in tiers.

I'm glad I know sign language, it's pretty handy.

A chiropractor's patients must crack under pressure.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Amish Answers for your Daily Needs

Dear Mr. Amos,
   I am depressed, melancholy and a little heavyhearted right now. You see, my best friend, Kenny Lumpkin, is now a member of Rob Bell's church. He also stole seven grand from me and left the mustard out when he last visited. I live in on the tenth floor of an apartment building so don't tell me to build a stupid barn!
Thanks for your advice in advance,
Harvey Topeka

Dear Harvey,
I know not who this Rob Bell fellow is but, names mean something. And who could trust someone who "steals a metal object shaped like an upside down cup that makes a noise when its sides are hit with a metal piece inside it"?  Don't worry,  friend... I will build a tiny barn out of Lincoln Logs and have it delivered to your address by horse and buggy. You can thank me later.

Corky Ad Contest Entry #15

This is indeed a very rare ad. One that Corky told me about while we were visiting the year 1852. He had remembered the ad but forgotten what magazine it was printed in. Thanks to Mr. Fonetag Wibblewitz and his entry into the seven million dollar contest, Corky now knows it was published in Look magazine and has purchased a copy for himself.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Corky Ad Contest Entry #14

This advertisement from Travelers Magazine (later Time-Travelers Magazine) was sent to us from Lance Lingley of Tabletop, Wyoming. Yes, Lance, this is definitely in the contest for the seven mill.

A Toast...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Amish Amos On-Line

Dear Amish Dude, 
   My boss is always critical of every employee at the Burger Palace. We are short-handed and can't clean a table fast enough for him. In between making fries and burgers, he expects us to clean the ice cream machine or sweep the floor. If someone drops a bun or a tomato, he acts like we've stolen his wallet! What can we do to get him off our backs?
Johnny Rocket

Dear John,
The best thing you and your co-workers can do in this situation is to build him a barn.

Corky Ad Contest Entry #13

Hats off to Ms. Lumlie Lulie of Chicachica, Oregon for this old magazine ad featuring Corky. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Just for Laughs #253

There is something Theological going on here.
If you know what it is, then please leave a comment.

Corky Ad Contest Entry #12

This old Sunday newspaper ad was sent in by Kelby "Iceberg" Quintos and will be entered into the contest. Mr. Quintos, don't forget to send in your cell number. The Texas State Prison isn't enough information.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Gift for a Calvinist

Let me just say, up front, this is no joke. My wife's wedding anniversary, and mine, happen to fall on the same day - March 14th. We both purchased new phones. She bought me the Sony Xperia Sola. She didn't realize the significance at the time. It was predestined I tells ya. You know it was, I know it was. Only Roger Olson and his band of Arminianites think otherwise.
Anyway you look at it, this was a hug from God. And it is a good analogy for my becoming a Calvinist, i.e., confused at first, a little hard to process all the information, learning a little at a time, eventually, everything falls into place as one (sola) cohesive unit, I will continue to marvel at the technology (or as a Calvinist - the theology).

A Year Ago Today

Just for Laughs #252

This nice couple could use a caption or two.

Corky Ad Contest Entry #11

This 1931 ad for the Canadian Pacific wins Manny Crierton an entry in the seven million dollar grand prize. I really love this contest because I see vintage ads featuring Corky Velveeta I never knew existed! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Pope Speaks

Silent Parade

Time-Traveler Contest...or not

Corky visits his old friend, who not only is a time-traveler himself, but also the owner of the Name It and Frame It Shoppe in Pie Town, New Mexico. Anyone out there recognize him? Can someone provide us with a little info on Pie Town? Time-travelers, who answer these questions will receive $7,000. The prize money will await you sometime in the sixth century. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Movie Ad from Archives

(From March 18, 2009)

At the CC Celebration

At the annual Calvinistic Cartoons Celebration in Kuwait yesterday, a liger was brought on stage to show how gentle these creatures really are. Our time was cut short by a melee of claws and teeth. Louie the Liger is back in his cage and I am, along with six of my staff, recovering in the best hospital Kuwait has to offer.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Only Amish On-Line

Brother Amos,
I read your column on the Digital Wagon Path Website and would like to ask you a question concerning relationships. My in-laws seem to be a little unfriendly towards me when my wife and I visit them. I have been married now for six months and don't quite know how to handle this situation. What can I do to win them over?

Dear Concerned,
The best thing you can do in a situation like that is to build them a barn. 

Corky Ad Contest Entry #10

Many thanks to Spleen Harkle for sending us this Saturday Evening Post ad featuring Corky Velveeta and an illustration of a young Eddie. We are proud to enter this into the seven million dollar contest. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Easy Degree

This is the easiest correspondence course Corky and I have to offer. In just one session we teach the trigger words and phrases that bring out the beast in atheists everywhere. If you already know some of these, and have experienced the disdain, then print this out and hang it on your wall.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

No Contest Entry

Our apologies to Ranker Lockloeman for entering this 1959 Cushman ad in the Corky Ad Contest. Mr. Lockloeman, although we enjoy seeing old ads with Mr. Eddings in them. There was no Corky Velveeta anywhere to be seen. Entries must have Corky somewhere in the ad itself. Please keep looking. We are sorry this can't be entered into the seven million dollar contest. We, the advertising staff at Calvinistic Cartoons, agreed to post it and give you credit for the find. Thanks, Ranker. Hope to hear from you soon.  

Corky Ad Contest Entry #8

This was sent to us by Flebish Finnemen, who used to work at United Air Lines. This ad is a great entry and we just want to tell everyone that you are ALL winners...whether you get the 7 million or not.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Helen's Calvinist Husband

The best way to enlarge this thing:
Right click - then choose "Open Link in New Window"
Then utilize the magnifying glass icon to increase size.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rare Corky Velveeta Comic Book

Thanks, Elmer Dickens, for sending the cover to our offices in Kuwait. A nice, big, fat seven thousand dollar check is on it's way to your address. Keep 'em coming. (and please just send the whole book next time.)

Corky Ad Contest Entry #7

When Haagen Dazs sent this ad in, he asked, "Do ads from other countries count in the seven million dollar contest?" The answer is YES, of course! Mr. Dazs, you are officially entered into the grand prize. (which will end on Election Day 2013)
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