Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Things I picked up from my father - Part I

 A major life event, like the loss of a parent, triggers a great deal of introspection, taking stock of your life and values, philosophizing, etc. For me, I always think "I will remember these lessons forever" and then I don't. So I'm writing some of them down here, before they fly away. It won't be polished, but at least they will be recorded.

My dad grew up in small town Indiana, descended from people who moved into Indiana from about 1800-1850. There were Revolutionary War patriots, Quakers from North Carolina, German farmers from Prussia who took a riverboat up from New Orleans with their life's possessions in a few crates, English, Scottish, Scots-Irish, and Welsh. Whatever their background, and none were very wealthy, they banded together and helped turn Indian territory from wilderness to fruitful farmland. Today isn't the post for full-on genealogy, but trust me, I've grown in appreciation for the shaping influences of generations before my grandparents while getting into that hobby. Suffice it to say, he inherited humility, honesty, industriousness, kindness, courage and conviction from his ancestors. And this may be reading into it a bit, but it's my rambling blog after all - I think he also inherited a bit of impulsiveness, risk-taking, and a stubborn commitment (the kind that digs in when challenged by "superiors") to what he believed was the right thing to do. The courage of his convictions. He was not naturally patient... but few people would have known that outside his family, because he kept impatience in check.

His parents were not wealthy and worked hard - his father reported 60 hours a week in 1950. He didn't go to kindergarten... that was still a newfangled thing in the 40's, I guess. ADHD as a diagnosis also hadn't been invented yet... so he was allowed to grow up more or less normally, only developing an antipathy for those teachers who had a clear prejudice against him. Orville Redenbacher was the county agricultural agent and his wife was chair of the PTA. Popcorn was one of the four food groups, and he had a side hustle with a school buddy buying a truckload of ripe watermelon to take to Chicago and sell. He had other side hustles... the longest-serving paperboy for the Princeton Courier for example. He knew every business owner around the town square and took us on visits to the fire department and some of the farms he knew. He had a chemistry set as a boy and made mad experiments with it... including a bottle rocket that waited approximately 40 years to be let off, one 4th of July. He was part of the class of '57 that had its dreams. He was headed for a Navy ROTC scholarship to Purdue to be an engineer, when he felt the call to become a minister. 

So he started down the Road Less Traveled. He went to Muskingum, a small Presbyterian school in Ohio. He studied Philosophy and History, met my mom, became lifelong friends with my "uncle" Wayne, and was a member of the Ulster club, a fraternity for prospective ministers. Philosophy, taught by Roy Will Butler, was a challenge but he was determined to master it, and did. (My mom added philosophy to her list of majors, but said she never really "got" it other than in a book-learning way.) He spent a year after college in Ethiopia, originally intending to be just one of a team of young men doing grunt construction work... but was recruited to teach middle school English and math instead because of his college degree. He came back from Ethiopia with a lifelong heart for missions and eagerness for travel, and a love of the spicy Ethiopian beef stew, Wat, served with hard boiled eggs and pancakes when I was growing up. Later, he would hear of the fall of Ethiopia into Marxism and the persecution, perhaps torture, of some of his former students. My memories of this are fuzzy, but impressed on me importance of knowing what you stand for from an early age. (Of course, growing up as the child of both my parents did this anyway, but it was a real-life application of what they were teaching me anyway.)

Back from Ethiopia, he married my mom. 

They moved to Pittsburgh, where he attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Mom taught middle school (yes, I got it from both sides!) and Dad studied under John Gerstner, the token conservative at a liberal leaning seminary. Gerstner was relegated to teaching church history, where management thought he could do little harm. You can still find Gerstner's video series on church history... the most theologically oriented church history course in church history, probably... from Ligonier, the ministry founded by his most famous student, R.C. Sproul. Gerstner used to encourage the brightest students who were in his inner circle... maybe they used to call themselves the "Fundy Club", I'm not sure... to seek post-seminary education from (in Gerstner's opinion) the keenest theological mind in the world, Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer, professor of Systematic Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam. It was a personal crusade for Gerstner, who had witnessed liberalism take over the mainline Presbyterian church. Dad was interested in the mission field, after Ethiopia, or possibly a preaching and teaching ministry in a small church; but Gerstner was stern in his insistence that there must be men trained at the highest level in theology, or there might not be a faithful church left to send out missionaries at all. (This from a conversation with my dad some years ago). So in his final year of seminary, Dad worked on learning Dutch. He told the story of how R.C. Sproul and his wife came to visit them in the seminary apartment to get some tips about preparing for Holland (R.C. was a year behind Dad, I think) and Dad spun him a yarn about how he was concerned about the Dutch theologians, they might be only 4-point Calvinists, denying Irresistible Grace. The way Dad told it, he had R.C. going for a bit, and then showed him the Dutch vocabulary card for tulip - "TULP" it said.

So Dad and Mom moved to the Netherlands. Mom taught at an American school, learned Dutch, played basketball, and apparently got really into knitting when she was pregnant with me. Dad had his studies in Amsterdam, about half an hour from Dordrecht where they lived, and I of course know only what they told me, or what was recorded in pictures, letters, or audio tapes, about this time.

I was about 20 months old when we returned to America, on a ship, and Mom was pregnant with my brother. Dad had achieved his "Doctorandus," roughly the equivalent of a Masters with an IOU for a dissertation. Mom's family home in Middletown, OH was our landing pad. My brother was born there, and within a few months of Dad sending out resumes and applications, he had a call to a United Presbyterian Church in Akron. I gather that he planned to serve that congregation for about 5-8 years, while working on his dissertation, and then seek a job in higher education teaching theology, at a seminary or university. But that didn't happen as planned, and that's a story for next time.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Rev. Dr. Carl W. Bogue 1939-2022

Carl William Bogue fell asleep in the Lord and passed into glory on Sunday morning, September 18, 2022. Carl was born in 1939 in Vincennes, Indiana, the son of Carl W. Bogue Sr. and Jessie Mae (Parker) Bogue.

He grew up in Princeton, IN, graduated from Princeton High School in 1957, and attended Muskingum College in Ohio, where he met his future wife, Rosalie Maffett. He graduated in 1961 with a B.A. in History and Philosophy.

After college he spent a year at the Presbyterian mission in Dembi Dollo, Ethiopia, teaching 7th and 8th grade.

He married Rosalie in 1962. They would eventually have four children together. He then attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for three years, receiving an M.Div. After graduation from seminary he moved to the Netherlands, where he studied systematic theology at the Free University of Amsterdam, receiving a Doctorandus and ultimately, ThD.

Returning to the US in 1969, he took a pastorate at Allenside United Presbyterian Church in Akron, Ohio. He would spend the rest of his career in Akron, first at Allenside and then at Faith Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in America), which he led out of the mainline denomination in 1975. Faith PCA was the first church in that denomination outside of the southern United States. 

Also in 1975, he defended his doctoral thesis, Jonathan Edwards and the Covenant of Grace, by oral exam, in Dutch, at the Free University. His doctorate was republished in 2009, in coordination with the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.

In addition to pastoring a church and keeping a full preaching schedule, he was active in church leadership at the regional level (Ascension Presbytery) and the national level, serving on various committees for the PCA General Assembly. He was a signatory to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. He taught theology to students at Westminster Academy, a Christian school started by Faith Church. Over the course of his career, he mentored many young men who later became pastors and missionaries in the PCA or Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Besides his thesis, he wrote numerous articles, some pamphlets, and contributed chapters to several books. He taught courses focused on theology and missions at several seminaries and institutions of higher learning, both in the USA and in South Korea and Cyprus. Over the course of his long career, he maintained an extensive correspondence with his colleagues in the pastorate and on the mission field, and with fellow Christians around the world.  He welcomed opportunities to travel and teach or preach wherever he went.

Rosalie passed away from cancer in 2004. He remarried, to Deborah Jones Feil. He retired in 2007 and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. Even after retirement, he maintained an active preaching and teaching schedule, preaching in many vacant pulpits throughout Arizona and at Calvin OPC in Phoenix. He was received into the OPC in 2020 (Presbytery of Southern California). He and Deborah recently joined a new OPC church plant in Scottsdale; Providence OPC.

He enjoyed playing tennis, and was a lifelong fan of Indiana college basketball, Ohio State football, and the St. Louis Cardinals. He appreciated classical music and had a large record collection. His photo collection was even larger, a testimony to a life filled with family, church work, and travel. He was a skilled gardener and loved fishing in the Portage Lakes of Ohio and the trout streams of New Mexico and Arizona. He had his private pilot’s license for many years. After he retired, he took up skiing with Deb and looked forward to every opportunity to practice his new hobby. 

He is survived by wife Deborah, children Katherine Chapman (Stephen), Andrew Bogue, Elizabeth Bogue, and Sarah Coombes (Christopher), and eight grandchildren: Daniel (Caroline), Peter, Emma, and Chloe Chapman; Liam, Ulrik, Rosalie and Brynn Coombes. He was a mentor and father in the faith to many more. After fighting the good fight, keeping the faith, and finishing his course, he is at home with his Lord. He would not want us to mourn him too much, but rather to work diligently for Christ’s kingdom.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Free Speech Matters, and Why it Does

Think of this as the forbidden section of the library. Like many others during the pandemic, I have been spending too much time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google, and even though most of my time is spent in purely selfish pursuits and I've not had a lot of time to research forbidden topics, I still find myself bumping up against blocks for "harmful information" or "spam" when I come across an interesting link now and then. I'm genuinely curious, so of course that makes me research all the more. And you know what? I'm an educated woman with good critical reading skills. I see nothing, NOTHING, that is worth censoring with such Gestapo tactics. And the very fact that there is a monolithic firewall of big tech billionaires in collusion with a corrupt government makes me very, very suspicious. I was willing to be convinced to some degree, but they had to double down on totalitarianism and censorship. And there is nothing I hate more than a bully.

So this is a holding place for links of interest. Without endorsing them or vouching for "the Science" (which is stupid, anyway - tech billionaires have flunkies to do science for them), why don't you read and decide for yourself, if you like.

Dr. Kathleen Ruddy has a series of informative videos on Brighteon. Here are some:

* Humanized Mice: https://www.brighteon.com/2d9285b7-bf4c-4fd0-bc4a-e04baec633ba

* No Abortion, No Pandemic: https://www.brighteon.com/9a3a0afd-c21f-48a9-a5f6-50cba801e37a

* (and the paper this was based on) https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

* I wonder if linking to Dr. Ruddy's channel "Heard Immunity" would bypass the censors: https://www.brighteon.com/channels/docruddy

* Now, I've been following the harvesting of aborted baby stem cells since the Center for Medical Progress did its exposé videos of Planned Parenthood years ago. I watched every minute of the uncut videos myself, and the "deceptively edited" videos (they were shorter, ok?) as well. I did a little extra research. I looked up "chim mice," a phrase I heard in the videos, and found out way more than I could believe. But apparently, it is no longer considered ethically unthinkable to create human/animal chimerae, as long as the creature is killed off as soon as it has served its purpose for "Science." I was nauseated and researched no more at that time, but recently this came up: https://www.fetalindustry.com/post/humanized-mice-horror-at-university-of-pittsburgh-caution-graphic-images ... and this: https://www.fetalindustry.com/post/lungonly-mice-precision-test-models-for-the-covid-vaccine These may be a better explanation of 

Now, I'm writing this on the day after the leaked Supreme Court decision and abortion is on everyone's brain today. I'm going to schedule the publication of this post, which is really a grab bag of things I'd like to think about and invite you to think about with me, for later this week. I'm planning to cover the Supreme Court situation in a post which I hope to publish May 3.

* I remember when trying to share Hunter Biden's laptop coverage would get you marked as a disinformation scammer, but maybe it's ok to link now. Certainly you can get to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Biden_laptop_controversy  And maybe to National Review. The idea that major media outlets would conspire to suppress information unfavorable to their favored 

* Back in February, I shared an article from the reputable conservative magazine National Review about how, according to a Johns Hopkins study, COVID lockdowns were counterproductive and should be rejected out of hand - this quickly earned a spanking from Facebook for "missing context" which could mislead people. Honestly, if Facebook gave more attention to stopping garden-variety catfishers and identity thieves, I wouldn't be so contemptuous of their ham-handed attempt to control information.

* Recently a Republican candidate for governor in Oregon, his family, and his campaign staff were assaulted by Antifa radicals in Portland. https://www.kptv.com/2022/04/30/2-injured-assault-oregon-gubernatorial-candidate-campaign-event/  During my search on Twitter to find more information, I also came across an account of an Antifa thug who was mocking the man for taking cover during the assault, which did include throwing explosive devices at people and endangered his family. I reported the tweet for celebrating violence. Twitter promptly denied there was any problem to see there, but pretended to be polite while doing so. Elon Musk may do some good there, I don't know. But as long as radicals 

I'm going to leave this post as is, rough and not highly edited at all. Maybe I'll add other egregious violations of free speech as I come across them in future posts. But, and I'm going to sound like an old curmudgeon here, it was only about 3 or 4 years ago that our high-tech overlords decided to enforce Wokeness wherever they could get away with it. It is not right. It is not an American value. It is demonic gaslighting when one party controls a Ministry of Truth that is the arbiter of what is acceptable thought and speech, and segregates all dissenters into virtual internment camps.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Political Tuesdays: Roe is Falling

Human beings are made in the image of the holy, almighty God. The demons also believe this, and tremble. Perhaps they are trembling a little more today.

For nearly fifty years, Roe v. Wade has broken the children of America. More than 63 million lives lost. Twice that many parents left with invisible scars. Trafficking in baby human body parts has naturally led to grooming the children that are born to be abused and trafficked themselves. Entire satanic industries are built on the foundation of Roe. It is a house built on sand. May it fall, and great be the fall of it.

Please, God, make it end. Deliver us from this evil.

Friday, April 8, 2022

The Right to Our Own Feelings, Part 2: The Bright Line

I promised to return to the social and emotional analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic and all its ramifications over a year ago (ed... now almost two) at the end of this post: The Right to Our Own Feelings Part 1: Things Fall Apart. I started writing this sequel almost immediately but it has been lost in multiple reboots, both literal and metaphorical, since then. I've re-read part one and feel I was at the top of my game. I didn't have the heart to add to it for the longest time, because of the complex cocktail of emotions that constitute my new normal. And this post itself was started and stopped, repeatedly, so long ago that the writing of it has itself become a mental block, which I need to address in some way before returning to normal blogging at all. So here is my (5th?) attempt to finish part 2. The first 4 1/2 paragraphs were written mostly in 2020 but edited many times. (CarpeLanam, April 8 2022).

"Solvitur scribendo" is the Latin phrase that came to mind recently as I was doing my Life Update post after the blog suffered long neglect. It means "it is solved by writing," and I thought I was being very clever and original in my riff on "solvitur ambulando," the sage advice of St. Jerome (or was it St. Augustine, or Diogenes?) to go take a walk. (THAT advice helped me amazingly during bouts of writer's block in my college years, as I would walk about campus with that faraway look in my eyes, lips moving as I mentally constructed outlines, and phrases, even entire paragraphs, fell into place). Turns out, I'm not the first to have coined the scribendo variant, but in hindsight I'm amazed it isn't more commonly seen. It essentially is an acknowledgment of the fact that journaling is therapeutic. We get clarity from the writing process. Truth may bubble up to the top, or at least we get a better perspective on a messy situation. It takes time to form words and the passage of time, or the writing process itself, may change us.

Well, there is also the fact that the whole world has drastically altered, for the very much worse, since Friday, March 13, 2020. And I'm not talking about the death tolls. I was so naive to think the high casualty numbers would be the worst to come from the pandemic! I now think the virus is the least of our problems as a country. We have a government that is actively opposing the constitutional freedoms it was sworn to protect. There is an uneasy, undeclared societal civil war in the air, and neighbors are turning against neighbors. Churches and schools were closed so long, our culture has experienced religious regression and educational collapse. Teachers, doctors, and journalists don't seem so trustworthy anymore. Crime is exploding and police are disrespected. Drug use and mental illness pose an increasing threat to social order. Social media, which used to be an outlet for the homebound and a link to distant friends, now actively censor viewpoints and people that tech overlords think are inappropriate. Christian memes are covered because of potentially offensive content; outspoken conservatives are banned outright or bullied until they give up.

And the people who are supposed to have our best interests at heart keep moving the bar in what has to be a deliberate attempt at control: Just fifteen days to slow the spread. China is our ally and if you suggest they released the virus intentionally you're racist. Once the high-risk and older populations are vaccinated, we can open up again. Sorry, you can't have a funeral service for your elderly relative, but George Floyd gets multiple. Kids are resilient, they'll be fine doing their learning in front of a computer screen. And when they come back to school, they have to wear masks all the time. Your kids are going to have to get tested twice a week if they want to play sports. But it's going to be fine, Congress just passed a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure bill.  And socialism is the new infrastructure.  Don't plan on traveling outside the country right now. But it's totally ok if the migrant trains come in, they aren't a threat. You're obviously racist if you think they are. And now everyone has to get vaccinated. You're the irresponsible one if you have reservations. You don't Trust The Science. Besides, it's mandatory. You don't want to be the ones we blame for the (check the list) omicron variant, do you? Well, even vaccinated people have to wear masks because they can catch it. If you have a small business, you have to enforce mask and vaccine mandates. If you don't, you'll be fined until you go out of business. This is just how it has to be. We know best. Just another few months to control the virus. Vax up everyone! Get your boosters and always remember, proof of vaccine is required if you want to keep your job. Be a responsible citizen: share you've been vaccinated on your social media accounts!   

This is gaslighting. And it's being done by the leaders in our society, with the full cooperation of those who profit from it (the entrenched federal bureaucracy, big tech, big pharma, cultural Marxists and corrupt institutions like Planned Parenthood). It is evil. It is wrong. And the most perverse thing about it is that it's designed to make its victims think they are the ones with the problem.

If you have ever seen someone using this form of manipulation, you never forget it. Thirty-some years ago, I was with a group of young women who accompanied a friend to retrieve her dog from her ex's house. She had left in a hurry, afraid the verbal abuse would become physical, and she wanted moral support. I was really young. I knew about alcoholism in theory, but not Narcissistic Personality Disorder or gaslighting. She had timed it right - he had already had a few drinks that evening and was just off-balance enough that she could get the dog, put his leash on and lead him away, tight-lipped and focused. But it was truly chilling to see how he worked: verbally assaulting her, dishing out heaping servings of shame to her, but then turning on the charm toward us. That was my introduction to the fact that some people have a dangerously faulty wiring that compels them to belittle, manipulate and control others. And not just people. Morally bankrupt institutions and governments as well.

The experience also acted as, I guess, a kind of immunization against future gaslighting. Or maybe a booster shot. I grew up in the 70's as a preacher's kid, and there were plenty of Sunday School classes that warned you about all the creepy cults, and plenty of people I heard about who fell into their traps. Mr. Barrett, my Christian schoolteacher in 6th grade, read us a rather shockingly lurid true-crime book about the Jim Jones mass suicide cult in Guyana. I was naturally quite suspicious of strangers after being strongly warned about stranger danger as a young child trick-or-treating, and would never take candy from strangers, let alone get into a car with them. As an adolescent, I wondered, who would I ever follow into the unknown? I decided it would either have to be Jesus or someone sent by Jesus... but how could you be sure? Well, it's true there are many false teachers and many people who claim to have God's approval and do not. There are wicked people who use their power to abuse the trust of good people and do terrible harm. That is why the complicity of our government and big-tech overlords in shutting society down for their own profit is so hard to bear, and the censorship of dissent by media and social media is so disturbing. 

But the preponderance of the evidence and the corroboration of multiple witnesses is always going to tend toward a confidence in the truth of the message. The arc of history is long, but it will tend toward overthrow of the revisionist historians and cult leaders. The fascist social influencers of the day may have America goose-stepping towards Gomorrah, but ordinary people using ordinary skills, who are skeptical about one-sided messaging and do even a little digging to clarify the narrative, will be the enlightened ones in the end.