Cannibalism in Jamestown...

If anyone had an question concerning the work before us as Christians in our evil generation, here's a story by CBS on the confirmation of cannibalism within the Jamestown Settlement during the terrible drought (worst in 800 years) of 1609-1610. Giving the details of the discovery of a 14-year old's body providing evidence she was cannibalized, CBS reported Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley responded to the discovery with this idiocy:

"There was a cultural stigma against killing someone for food, Owsley said."

Had they been present at the time, one finds oneself wondering if R2K men would think this a matter upon which the Anglican priest ought to have held his peace?

I'm reminded of a review that appeared years ago in the New York Times Book Review in which a Harvard philosopher did a write-up on a Kentucky philosopher's book defending infanticide... The Harvard man wasn't comfortable with the arguments of the Kentucky man because he defended infanticide on the basis that a good dog was better than a defective child. (And no, Peter Singer was not the author. He's at Princeton and he's an Aussie.)

The part I remember is that the Harvard man wrote of his distaste at the proposition, but then showed angst over whether his distaste was simply "speciesism."

Reading, I thought "What has this world come to that a Harvard philosopher doesn't have any defense worth speaking of against choosing the imago dei over the imago canis?"

And now we find the Smithsonian and CBS speaking in a patronizing way of the cultural taboo against cannibalism among early American Anglicans.

If this is the Ascent of Man, I want off.

When Stalin set about massacring the peasants of the Ukraine, townspeople watched chimneys for smoke knowing it was a sure sign of cannibalism. Read Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder. It's outstanding.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.


You needn't resort to what some think as ancient history. Communism is alive and well in North Korea where the rulers confiscate grain from the peasants who feed the cities. 

I don't need to detail the results, do I?

"If this is the Ascent of Man, I want off."

Killer, er, I mean, amen!

O.K., I am reading R2K threads of various sorts. Likely not up to speed. 

Wouldn't the R2Kanglican pastor do the work of discipline--- barring from the table, with excommunication if needs be-- all the time seeking restoration of the offender? (Or, might he not pay a visit to evangelize the person if not part of the congregation?) He would certainly report the offender to the magistrate, assuming that the civil law treated this as a crime (of course, it did in that time and place). He might well speak of how such a sin deserves the death penalty-- in a sermon on the 6th commandment, but his ministry would be aimed at restoration of the sinner, warning of the flock lest they fall into the same, seeking to stir to confession those who had. 

Surely R2Kanglican would speak of the law’s use to restrain evil in society, the magistrate’s responsibility to do so and the believer’s responsibility to value that ministry. Would R2Kanglican correct members of his flock if they petitioned the magistrate to take steps to prosecute the crime? Would he in any way hinder the offending Christian who determined to turn himself into the authorities for civil punishment? Is the difference that his session (I know, mixing categories) wouldn't take actions to apply the death penalty? Is the difference that he wouldn’t go proto-methodist and preach in the town square? 

What would R2Kanglican NOT do that Baylican would do?

I realize that asked within the tenor of your several posts, my questions sound naive at best. Really asking. Use your example for me, please. 

O.K. my enthusiasm ran ahead of following you. Read the CBS piece. It recounts two different things. A murder for cannibalism, and cannibalism of those who were not murdered. Still a grissly thing, and one that I have never imagined. I have no idea what I would say about the second act at first blush, other than, "do I really have to think about this?" Is there a difference here between the R2Kanglican and your account of the faithful minister? 


I think that you are asking very intellectual and academically honest questions. The issue with (R)2K is those who are its advocates, are not necessarily the same in terms of their applications of it. This is what makes it difficult to pin down sometimes. 

For instance, Dr Hart (former WSCAL) or Rev. Todd Bordow (OPC) would be considered the really radical end of (R)2K.. It is probably not an unfair statement to say that Dr Hart does not have too much of a concern if the entire country burns down.

Others take almost a soft theonomic approach in their interpretation of application of (R)2K, although they would start going into convulsions if they ever had their name in the same sentence as theonomy. (I am using it simply as a term of convenience (soft theonomy).. These R2K folks would never refer to themselves in this way)..

For instance, Dr Clark (WSCAL) advocates civil sanctions for sexual crimes, but of course, he is basing this entirely upon "nature" and not directly on the revealed law of God. I can't recall which particular sexual crimes, but the fact that he would even advocate civil sanctions for at least some sex crimes is probably the least radical that you can get with (R)2K advocates.

That being said, my main underlying point and one of the key fundamental R2K propositions for the entire spectrum of advocates for (R)2K ("hard core" radical, or "soft theonomic" radical) is that they absolutely will not use the Bible in the public square and will actively use every argument in the book against using the Bible in the public square.

For the hard core radical, he won't use the Bible, and doesn't even want to engage at all because he simply doesn't care about larger society. For the "soft theonomic" radical, he will engage but his approach is not a fully orbed and fully consistent Christian worldview based approach.

It is obvious (well, at least it should be) as to why the hard core radical approach is dangerous and wrong.

For the soft theonomic radical, it seems that because the Christian is actively engaging in the public square, and addressing our society based on "truth", what is the big deal? They seem OK... Right?

Well, yes and no.. I applaud that they are attempting to engage in the public square. But the danger is that, whether they vehemently deny it or not, their approach is still ultimately an epistemologically "neutral" approach.. 

Why? Because their ultimate basis **in practice**, and the basis from which they will never go beyond is **natural law** or **nature**..They claim that they are consistent presuppositionalists but even a cursory study of Van Tillian apologetics will reveal that the (R)2K doctrine is not consistently presuppositionalist, and it is **in practice** an arminian evidentialist approach. (....ironic that R2K is being pushed so hard by a reformed seminary)

This is a big problem because we have not been fully consistent with our arguments in the public square. Any atheist can easily dismantle their (R)2K arguments from a logical perspective.

The R2K Christian argues from his understanding of natural law without attempting to back up his understanding from the Bible. and the atheist shoots back with his understanding of natural law or unbelief in it.. Now, we are stuck..

The Christian cannot go farther, and is hindered from proclaiming ethical and moral truth by the R2K doctrine.

God commands us to be fully consistent and to properly proclaim moral truth. How can we do that if we are intentionally hindering ourselves by adhering to a doctrine that prevents us from using the Bible?

In Jonah, the context is very clear that Jonah did not think to convict the entire city of Ninevah by not invoking God's name or the Scriptures.

In Daniel 5, Daniel clearly rebukes the pagan king Belshazzar and says that his father did not follow according to God's law (Dan 5:21). And he clearly tells Belshazzar that he must turn from his idol worshipping and glorify God.

How could Daniel have possibly rebuked Belshazzar's idolatry using natural law arguments without referring back to God? I guess Daniel could have started with natural law arguments, but he didnt.. He went straight into why Belshazzar, a pagan king, was breaking the law of God.

And see Dan 6:24-27. King Darius orders God's law be adhered to throughout his (formerly) pagan kingdom.

This is just a quick snapshot. There is so much more...........

Add new comment