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Imago Dei – All Men Are Created In The Image of God

The Bible Project: This video traces the idea of humans as co-rulers alongside God, who are commissioned to develop the world and its resources and take it into new horizons. How has this human vocation been compromised by our selfishness and evil, and how did Jesus open up a new way of being human through his life, death, and resurrection?

Imago Dei is the Latin transliteration of the aphorism, “Image of God,” as found in the Old Testament Book of Genesis in the grand divine creation narrative. This term “Image of God” is defined as the metaphysical expression rooted in mankind’s likeness to their Creator God, and it is associated uniquely to human beings, and it carries enormous weight given that humans were created in the “image of God.” This aphorism also signifies the profound spiritual, tangible, and symbolical connections between God and humanity. The phrase has its origins in Genesis 1:27, wherein “God created man in his own image. . .” This biblical passage implicates that humans are created in the image of God in their moral, spiritual, and intellectual essence. Accordingly all created humans reflect God’s divine nature in their ability to achieve the unique characteristics with which they have been endowed by their Creator. Mankind stands distinct from the creatures of the animal kingdom in this regard. It’s why man’s soul is precious and must be committed to God in this fallen world that man may partake of God’s forgiveness and redemption of fallen mankind.

The Importance of Work Ethic: ‘A Message to Garcia’

A Message to Garcia is a widely distributed essay written by Elbert Hubbard in 1899, expressing the value of individual initiative and conscientiousness in work. The succinct essay uses a dramatized version of a daring escapade performed by an American soldier, 1st Lt. Andrew S. Rowan, on the eve of the Spanish–American War. It describes Andrew S. Rowan carrying a message from President William McKinley to “Gen. Calixto García, a leader of the Cuban insurgents somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba—no one knew where.” The essay contrasts Rowan’s self-driven effort against “the imbecility of the average man—the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it.”

In Hubbard’s version of Rowan’s journey, President McKinley needed to communicate with Gen. Calixto Garcia, a leader of the Cuban insurgents.

[S]omeone said to the president there was ‘a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you if anybody can.’ Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How the ‘fellow by the name of Rowan’ took the letter, sealed it up in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia – are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.”

Hubbard accurately wrote that Rowan “landed … off the coast of Cuba from an open boat” but erred considerably in other factual recollections. All the rest, including McKinley’s need to communicate with Garcia and Rowan’s delivery of a letter to the general, was misrepresentation. However, the letter endures quintessential example of dedication and work ethic, which is what Andrew S. Rowan was said to embody. I draw influence from it.

A Letter from Garcia

by Elbert Hubbard, 1899

In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Marsat perihelion.

When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents.

Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba — no one knew where. No mail or telegraph could reach him.

The President must secure his co-operation, and quickly. What to do?!

Someone said to the President, “There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.”

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How “the fellow by the name of Rowan” took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and having delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, “Where is he at?” By the Eternal! There is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college in the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this or that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to beloyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies; do the thing – “carry a message to Garcia!”

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.

No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well-nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man – the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, and sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office—six clerks are within your call. Summon any one and make this request: “Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Corregio.” Will the clerk quietly say, “Yes, sir,” and go do the task? On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye, and ask one or more of the following questions:

Who was he?

Which encyclopedia?

Where is the encyclopedia? Was I hired for that?

Don’t you mean Bismarck?

What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?

Is he dead?

Is there any hurry?

Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?

What do you want to know for?

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the two other clerks to help him find Garcia – and then come back and tell you there is no such man.Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.

Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your “assistant” that Corregio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile sweetly and say, “Never mind,” and go look it up yourself.

And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things thatput pure socialism so far into the future.

If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all?

A first mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting “the bounce” Saturday night holds many a worker in his place.

Advertise for a stenographer, and nine times out of ten who apply can neither spell nor punctuate – and do not think it necessary to.

Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?

“You see that bookkeeper,” said the foreman to me in a large factory.

“Yes, what about him?”

“Well, he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him to town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and, on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for.”

Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia? We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the “downtrodden denizen of the sweat shop” and the “homeless wanderer searching for honest employment,”and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with “help” that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned.

In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away “help” that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, this sorting is done finer – but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go.

It is the survival of the fittest. self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best-those who can carry a message to Garcia. I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to anyone else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress, him. He can not give orders, and he will not receive them.

Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, “Take it yourself.” Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular firebrand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot.

Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in your pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold the line in dowdy indifference, slipshod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry and homeless.

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a slumming, I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds – the man who, against great odds, has directed the efforts of others, and, having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes. I have carried a dinner-pail and worked for a day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; and all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the “boss” is away, as well as when he is home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly takes the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets “laid off,” nor has to go on strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks will be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town, and village – in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such; he is needed, and needed badly—the man who can

Carry a message to Garcia.

The Authority of God’s Word Endures in Spite of Sinful Man

“The collapse in evangelical doctrinal consensus is intimately related to the collapse in the understanding of, and role assigned to, Scripture as God’s Word spoken within the church.”
―Carl R. Trueman, Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, p. 98

The Apostle Paul under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, authoritatively avowed the veracity and divine inspiration of sacred scripture, declaring: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Sacred scripture’s truth endures in spite of the fads of this day and age, and wickedness of man’s hearts. We live in an age of considerable depravity. There’s no point in making a lamentation with a laundry list of the absurd depravity so commonplace in this corrupt modern world. “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:12). God’s truth will endure in light of eternity, and He will trample underfoot all that offends His Heavenly Kingdom.

Johnny Cash – “The Man Comes Around” is a folk song rooted in Christian eschatology and the Revelation of the Apocalypse by God’s messenger, Saint John of Patmos.

Politics of the Round Table

“The gap between medieval Christianity’s ruling principle and everyday life is the great pitfall of the Middle Ages. It is the problem that runs through Gibbon’s history, which he dealt with by a delicately malicious levity, pricking at every turn what seemed to him the hypocrisy of the Christian ideal as opposed to natural human functioning. . . . ¶Chivalry, the dominant idea of the ruling class, left as great a gap between ideal and practice as religion. The ideal was a vision of order maintained by the warrior class and formulated in the image of the Round Table, nature’s perfect shape. King Arthur’s knights adventured for the right against dragons, enchanters, and wicked men, establishing order in a wild world. So their living counterparts were supposed, in theory, to serve as defenders of the Faith, upholders of justice, champions of the oppressed. In practice, they were themselves the oppressors, and by the 14th century the violence and lawlessness of men of the sword had become a major agency of disorder. When the gap between ideal and real becomes too wide, the system breaks down. Legend and story have always reflected this; in the Arthurian romances the Round Table is shattered from within. The sword is returned to the lake; the effort begins anew. Violent, destructive, greedy, fallible as he may be, man retains his vision of order and resumes his search.”
—Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous
14th Century

The Survival of the United States are integral to the survival of Western Civilization

“The survival of the West depends on Americans reaffirming their Western identity and Westerners accepting their civilization as unique not universal and uniting to renew and preserve it against challenges from non-Western societies.”

―Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

      Europe is at a crossroads and it is dying culturally and spiritually. Christianity has fallen on hard times in Europe as militant secularism abound. The loss of Western identity and confidence has lead to acceptance of multiculturalism and runaway immigration from the Islamic world, and of Third World nations. A great burden now rests upon the United States of America to become the preservative of Western identity and Western Civilization itself. To do this, Americans must of necessity become more consciously pro-Western Civilization, and have a sense of rootedness in the West. The ideology of global market idolatry are often antithetical to these goals. For Americans to cultivate a deeper sense of rootedness in the West requires that we obtain: a profound sense of who we are, a greater sense of where we came from, and a confident sense of where we’re going as a civilization. As Edmund Burke said, “People will not look forward to posterity who do not look backwards to ancestors.”

Roger Scruton – “The Future of European Civilization: Lessons for America”

The sacrosanct character of labor and industry

      Historically Christendom ascribed a certain nobility of character to man’s exercise of work and vocation, equating the diligence attendant to work, and vocation with essential character formation. Though toil was part of the original curse upon man after his fall referenced in Genesis 3:9, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” work sanctified under the Cross of Christ gave man a sense of purpose and rootedness in this temporal age, and strengthened his connection to his fellow man. The Apostle Paul admonished believers in Colossae, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). The revealed divine revelation of the Holy Scriptures instructs us that all Christians are ultimately working for the Lord God, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

―Ecclesiastes 9:10

“For Medieval craftsmen, work was an act of piety and was sanctified in their own eyes as in the eyes of their God. For such labourers, end and means are one and he spiritual wholeness of faith is translated into the visual wholeness and purify of their craft. hence their craft was also art, a permanent testimony to the reality on earth of humanity’s spiritual redemption.”

―Roger Scruton, Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition

From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents by David Gress

From Plato to Nato: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents
From Plato to Nato: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents by David Gress

    The Grand Narrative popularized by historian Will Durant in The Story of Civilization teaches that the idea of freedom and democracy was born in ancient Greece, nurtured by Roman civility, law, and order, and brought to modern fruition by the Anglo-Scottish-French Enlightenment. David Gress challenges the Grand Narrative which reduces history to fit modern liberal sentiments, and instead recognizes as Montesquieu did that the Western concept of “liberty was born in the forests of Germany” (p. 183). The modern West was born in the vestiges of Charlemagne’s empire, spread chiefly at the behest of the British, Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

    In this video on C-SPAN, David Gress talked about his sweeping intellectual history, From Plato to NATO, which examine the rise of “the West” as one of the most potent cultural and political forces in human history. After his remarks, Gress proceeded to answer questions from the audience.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?119969-1/from-plato-nato

Ernesto Araújo’s “Trump and the West”

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rode a populist wave of nationalist fervor into elected office in Brazil, and thereafter appointed Ernesto Araújo to be his Foreign Minister. Araújo is a career diplomat, and the author of an erudite article, entitled simply “Trump and the West,” first published in 2017, which provides a comprehensive cultural, historical, philosophical, and political framework of the insurgent populist nationalism that is rising throughout the Western world. The elected U.S. President Donald Trump is most emblematic of this vision of the West. Araújo’s exposition is a clarion call for the men of the West to stand athwart “cultural Marxism,” and by implication liberalism and postmodernism. Ernesto Araújo astutely lauds the leadership of President Trump, whose brinksmanship aims to defend Western Christian societies from the twin perils of Islam and global cultural Marxism. Ernesto marshals a bountiful corpus of intellectual ammunition in defense of the West, and presents Donald J. Trump as the perennial statesman of our age, as he is highly attuned to the populist, nationalist spirit of the modern West.

Ernesto Fraga Araújo
Ernesto Fraga Araújo is a defender of Donald J. Trump, and presents Trump as the expositor of a coherent Western world-view that is a necessary antidote to the postmodernism and liberalism of the anti-Western intellectuals that function as sappers in a mine, and dominating the academy, mass-media, and rival left-wing parties.

     In Araújo’s learned judgment, neither military weapons nor terrorism presents the greatest threat to the West today, rather it’s more of an issue of the ability to preserve and sustain Western culture and identity itself, as Ernesto argues that “the real huge danger is the disappearance of Western identity itself.” He sees Donald Trump as a vanguard of an intellectual-political movement that is vitally requisite to defend Western Civilization, and by clear implication, Trump is apt to possess a comparable philosophy to that articulated by Ernesto Araújo himself. “This vision of the West does not mean conflict with non-Westerners,” Araújo observes in writing of Donald J. Trump. More to the point, “the enemy of the West is not Russia or China, nor is it an enemy state, but indeed primarily an enemy within, abandoning one’s own identity; and an outside enemy, radical Islamism – which, meanwhile, plays second fiddle to the first, because Islamism only poses a threat because it finds the West spiritually weak and disconnected from itself. There is no ‘us-versus-them logic’ here, contrary to what Trump’s detractors are fond of saying. There is instead an ‘us seeking to reclaim ourselves’ logic.” To this end, Araújo appears to the heroic men of the West, and the symbolism embodied in the historical struggles of the western Greeks against the tyrannical Persians from the orient, as well as the United States and the free world standing athwart the collectivism of the Soviet Union. “Patriotism,” notes Araújo,  “is therefore part of the very essence of the West. It was not the brainchild of philosophers; it was felt by men facing the risk of death. . .”

     The West also needs its heroes. To Araújo, Donald J. Trump is among the heroes of our time. “The West was born at Salamis, but not only in the battle itself strictly speaking, but also, and most of all, in the literary transposition Aeschylus gave it. The West was thus born with a dimension of self-reflection. It was born not only as a fact, but as a literary work of a conscious history building – Greek tragedy is where myth merges with history.” Postmodernism in contrast attacks the notion of heroes as but another cult of Western imperial ego. Yet Araújo recognizes that heroes inspire men to lay hold of greatness, and heroes articulate and communicate ideas, and in the case of Donald J. Trump, it’s an idea of the West worth defending, which aids in the survival of the West. This noble myth is necessary and frankly truthful as it reflects the culture, history, and peoples of the West much more so than the ideological radicalism of socialists and post-modernists who seek to wipe the slate clean and start the world anew.

Click here to read an English-language translation of “Trump and the West” by Ernesto Araújo.

Genesis

      This represents a new beginning but is certainly not my first attempt at blogging. It is a place where I want to articulate myself with my own voice. It’s a voice not beholden to the cultural and political correctness of our day, as I am a champion of the Christian West.

“Among the greatest challenges facing humanity is the ability to survive progress.” 
―Patrick J. Deneen, Why Liberalism Failed