Douglas Wilson’s Letter From Moscow (Abour our Pelagian World)

Straight and Narrow

Douglas Wilson
Blog&Mablog

INTRODUCTION

One of the hidden drivers in our public debates about homosexual lust and practice is that a widespread and presupposed Pelagianism has riddled the church. I am happy to explain myself here, but I would like to ask you to walk with me for a piece.

ABILITY AND OBLIGATION

Pelagianism holds, among other things, that a man cannot be blamed for what cannot be helped. In this system, sin is defined in accordance with our ability to meet the standard. If we cannot meet the standard, then it would obviously be unjust to hold us to the standard. Ability limits obligation. If I have no ability to jump over the ocean to Hawaii, then clearly I can have no moral obligation to do so. Makes sense, right?

Except that this muddles the difference between natural inability and moral inability. Natural inability answers every moral accusation that might be brought against a man. I can have no moral obligation to pick up rocks in my driveway and bounce them off the moon, because I have absolutely no physical ability to do so. This kind of inability really does limit obligation. I do not feel guilty for my inability to fly like a bird, or swim like a dolphin, or burrow like a mole. Neither do I feel guilty over my inability to publish in staid and responsible journals. The metaphorical adjectives have to go somewhere, and I can’t just keep them in my head. They just crowd in. Where was I?

But if my inability is a moral inability, then that inability excuses nothing. In fact, this kind of inability compounds the sin, making it worse. The Lord does not call the Pharisees a nest of vipers, but then go on to make the crucial point that vipers can’t help being what they are, having been “born that way” to viper parents. Not at all. Nor did the Lord hasten to add that we should be building bridges not walls. Little narrow snake bridges. See what I mean?

A man can have the natural ability to do something that he has no moral ability to do. For example, I have the physical ability to walk down to our main city square, and to stand on a bench, and yell slanderous and malicious accusations about my deceased mother. I have the feet, I have the lungs, I know the words, and no one has a gun pointed at me to prevent this from happening. But while I have the natural ability to do it, I do not have the moral capacity to do it. My point is considerably stronger than I would rather not. My point is that I couldn’t. Natural ability to do “this or that” and moral ability to do “this or that” are clearly two different things.

SIN ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE

Now all this is because sin is defined by Scripture, and not by our inability to do what Scripture requires. The fact that we have no moral ability to do what God requires of us compounds our guilt, and does not remove it. We have the natural ability to do what God requires—a true statement does not require more of us physically than a lie—but we do not have the moral desire. Our hearts do not desire holiness. This kind of inability, created by the shackles of what sinners want, cannot be compared to an innocent inability.

Consider this short litany. Before conversion, we are all objects of wrath by nature (Eph. 2:3). We were dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). We were slaves to sin (Rom. 6:6). Slaves can’t run free, dead men can’t go their own way, and the one central thing that not one of us can run away from is our own nature. All of this language demonstrates a radical inability, and all of it points to blame resting on the one exhibiting that inability.

So Scripture has the authority to wrap personal responsibility around our dirty necks, and the world has sought to fight this authority by resorting to the language of “disease” or “addiction” or “genetic programming.” Those are the spoken words, but the Pelagian confusion is lurking in the background. If alcoholism is a disease instead of being the habit of drunkenness, which is a behavior, then we shouldn’t blame anyone for it. We don’t blame them for catching other diseases, do we? And if addiction zeros out ability, then it also zeros out obligation, which means that someone who kicks their habit can be treated as some kind of paragon. Moral philosophers of previous ages who watched any of the ticker tape parades we give to celebrate the heroism involved in breaking a vile habit would be, to use a favorite term of theirs, bumfuzzled.

Make no mistake: there is an important place for celebration over repentance. See the prodigal son (Luke 15:22-24). See the Lord’s statement about joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:7). But celebrating repentance is a very different thing from celebrating the innate goodness of someone who had a really tough time making it back into common decency. There are two mistakes to avoid here. One is that of the older brother, who wasn’t going to celebrate anything. The other is the mistake of the libertines back at the tavern who aren’t going to celebrate anything either, now that they had to pay for the hookers and drinks with their own money.

THE NATURE OF SCRIPTURAL BLAME

When speaking of the sexual sin that characterized false teachers, writers of the New Testament compared them to rutting animals who do what they do by instinct. Does this justify their behavior? Not even a little bit.

“But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction” (2 Peter 2:12, ESV).

“But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively” (Jude 10, ESV).

So then, the hunt for a “gay gene” was a hunt for a Pelagian get-out-of-jail free card. That is because, if they ever found it, they could wave it under the nose of the modern evangelical church, which is chockablock with Pelagianism and not-so-semi-Pelagianism, and they would all say, “Whoa. Can’t argue with the science.”

Right. Suppose the science to be good, for the sake of discussion. We can still argue with the implicit Pelagian assumption that moral inability limits obligation because it is just like natural inability, which, of course, it isn’t. Sin is defined by the God who made us, and not by our rationalizations, which have unmade us.

Because I am loath to leave any ambiguity, this is because Scripture does not just fault us for what we do. It faults us for what we are. The corrupt fruit we produce is blameworthy, and God will judge us for such filthy deeds. But the fruit reveals the nature of the tree, and a corrupt tree can do nothing but produce corrupt fruit.

“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matt. 12:34–35).

How can you, being evil, speak good? The answer is that you can’t. The words that come from the mouth reveal the nature of the heart’s abundance.

SCIENTISTS FIND THE VIPER GENE

So suppose that after dint of much federal funding, our scientists finally found “the viper gene.” This is the gene that makes us love ourselves, hate our neighbors, despise God, and cultivate our precious lusts. There it is, under the microscope. There, that little twisted black one.

If we are thinking biblically, we would not capitulate to this evidence on the basis of a shared Pelagianism. We would never say, “Well, then I guess that you all can’t help being vipers.” No. What we would actually say is something like, “Look at that! Proof that the Bible is correct! We are sinful by nature!”

Why would finding a genetic basis for homosexual lust ever excuse anybody? We know that heterosexual lust has a genetic basis, and Scripture still condemns it. A young boy is enjoying life, and all his waking thoughts are occupied with cultivating an honest work ethic by means of his paper route, and enjoying the simple pleasures of his baseball card collection. Then one day his body floods with testosterone—which he did not in any way request or ask for—and blam. Breasts and legs everywhere.

Bottom line: We are to submit ourselves to the standard set by Scripture. We are not to concoct some tomfool standard, assembled from the shards of our own moral helplessness. Otherwise, what is a gospel for?

STRANGE VANITIES

Now as Van Til noted, unbelief oscillates between rationalism and irrationalism. A great deal of the groundwork for the homosex revolution was laid in a rationalistic application of the principles of this Pelagianism. If a man or woman “was born this way,” then it would be obviously unjust to blame them for what they could not help. So the argument has gone, and it has been pretty effective on Christians who have, unbeknownst to themselves, been quietly assuming a Pelagian rationalism that made them vulnerable to the argument.

But once the church was cowed by this Pelagian rationalism, once we were frozen in place by it, the world meantime has raucously careened over to the irrational end of the pendulum swing, now telling us that gender orientation is a social construct.

The world has given us an argument which, given our assumptions, “should hold us for a while,” and they have scampered off to find more genders than will ever be found under anyone’s microscope. The source for all these is not in the DNA, but rather in the fevered imaginations of our horny seers. Good luck cataloging the genome of the pornified mind—57 genders and counting.

But—and I shouldn’t have to go over this—if it is a social construct, then it is not a genetic construct. And if it is a genetic construct, then it isn’t a social construct. If it is a social construct, then you weren’t born this way because you weren’t born any way. And if it is a genetic construct, then the rebels are still constrained by the limits of a world God “tyrannically” imposed on them.

Instead of answering this conundrum, the revolutionaries have settled for telling us ignorant haters to shut up. “If you can’t tell the difference between sex and gender, there is no sense talking to you bigots.”

“They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return” (Jer 8:5).

“Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?” (Jer. 8:19).  

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Daily Meditation

The Future of the Old Rattle Trap

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On the resurrection of the body and of all creation; and on the goodness of the bodies we now have.

C. S. Lewis

26 November 1962

My stuff about animals came long ago in The Problem of Pain. I ventured the supposal—it could be nothing more—that as we are raised in Christ, so at least some animals are raised in us. Who knows, indeed, but that a great deal even of the inanimate creation is raised in the redeemed souls who have, during this life, taken its beauty into themselves? That may be the way in which the ‘new heaven and the new earth’30 are formed. Of course we can only guess and wonder.

But these particular guesses arise in me, I trust, from taking seriously the resurrection of the body: a doctrine which now-a- days is very soft pedalled by nearly all the faithful—to our great impoverishment. Not that you and I have now much reason to rejoice in having bodies! Like old automobiles, aren’t they? where all sorts of apparently different things keep going wrong, but what they add up to is the plain fact that the machine is wearing out. Well, it was not meant to last forever.

Still, I have a kindly feeling for the old rattle-trap. Through it God showed me that whole side of His beauty which is embodied in colour, sound, smell and size. No doubt it has often led me astray: but not half so often, I suspect, as my soul has led it astray. For the spiritual evils which we share with the devils (pride, spite) are far worse than what we share with the beasts: and sensuality really arises more from the imagination than from the appetites: which, if left merely to their own animal strength, and not elaborated by our imagination, would be fairly easily managed. But this is turning into a sermon!

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, JackThe Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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Will History Repeat?

“The Old B— Likes It Narrow”
In 1951 a general election was held in the UK.  The Conservatives won; Winston Churchill was returned to power.  These were the days when large swathes of the working class supported and voted for the Conservatives.  Voting was not strictly along the lines of socio-economic class, despite very strong social class identity at the time.  

It took a long time to count the votes, and the final outcome was not known until the following morning.  In his book, Family Britain 1951-1957, David Kynaston quotes the writer Ronald Duncan’s encounter with a train porter at Charing Cross.

The voracious station disgorged its crowds of office workers as the 8.15 steamed in.  The same anxious poker faces looking a little tired from their debauch of statistics on three cups of coffee.  As usual they hurried toward the ticket collector, straining the digestion of the gate.

I walked up the platform, watching a ferret-like porter going up the train, slamming the doors of the empty carriages.  From one he retrieved a newspaper which had been left on the seat.  As the train shunted out he paused, to study the Stop Press results, and thoughtfully lit a fag-end.  I glanced over his shoulder.

“Good.  It looks as if the old man will just get in after all.”

“Which old man?”

“Winston, of course.”

“Did  you vote for him in spite of your union?”

“Of course not.  Being a working  man I voted Labour, but all the same I’oped old Winston would get in this time.”

“You mean to say you voted Labour although you wanted the Conservatives to get in?”

“It’s like this mate.  I’ad to vote for me own side out of loyalty like, but what I say is this” (and here he whispered lest his mate should overhear), “the proper bloke to have on a footplate is an engine driver, and that’s why I’d like to see old Winnie back at No 10, ’cause he knows his way around, having been brought up to it like.”

“It look as if it will be a narrow thing,” I said.

“So it was at Dunkirk.  The old b—- likes it narrow.”  [David Kynaston, Family Britain 1951-1957 (New York: Walker and Co., 2009), p.41f.] 

 We wonder whether such an observation might eventually apply to the current British PM, Theresa May.  If she manages to succeed in Brexit, despite a very small majority, it may be that she too will be lauded as a political leader who “likes it narrow”.  Time will tell.
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not seeing is believing

july-20

devotional post # 2083

Luke 24:1-12

Luk 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, having taken the spices they had prepared.
Luk 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
Luk 24:3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
Luk 24:4 While they were confused about this, notice, two men stood by them in bright clothing.
Luk 24:5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Luk 24:6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,
Luk 24:7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
Luk 24:8 And they remembered his words,
Luk 24:9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
Luk 24:10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles,
Luk 24:11 but these words seemed to them a curious story, and they did not believe them.
Luk 24:12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home amazed at what had happened.

not seeing is believing

There were two trips to the graveyard that Sunday morning, and both of them were life-changing. The delegation of women dropped their burial spices, and fell to the ground when they saw two men in bright clothing. But it was what the men said that was most significant. They reminded the ladies what Jesus had taught concerning his crucifixion, death and resurrection.

Peter could not believe it either, but not seeing was believing for him. He saw Jesus’ discarded clothing in the empty tomp.

LORD, wake us all up to the reality of your resurrection and the difference it now makes forever.

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Douglas Wilson’s Letter From Moscow (About Christian Confusion)

Gayer Than the Kiwi Queen of the Fire Island Fruit Festival

Douglas Wilson
Blog&Mablog

Every once in a while you run across something that is a few parsecs beyond the utter frozen limit. What do you do then? Tim Bayly recently posted a video of an offertory performance done at Redeemer Downtown in Manhattan, along with his comments, and I have reposted the video below. You can watch the whole thing, or if you have a medical condition, you can watch 30 seconds of it and still get the drift. If confusion were beans, this would be a 9-layer dip, suitable for Super Bowl parties.

So here it is. Brace yourself.

Life Together from Redeemer Video on Vimeo.

What is the problem with this? Summed up, it is that this performance is gayer than the kiwi queen at the Fire Island Fruit Festival. This performance is gayer than an HR memo at Google headquarters. How gay was it? It was gayer than an NPR tote bag full of rainbows. It was gayer than a unicorn parade through the Castro District. It was gayer than a lavender sparkly pen.

And to top it all off, we live in an antinomian generation, where the only sins possible are those represented by something like the preceding paragraph. It is not okay to say “gayer than,” but it is beyond okay to be “gayer than.”

It is no sin to watch this video clip and not know what the particular problem is. Human self-deception can occupy the heart like a rabbit warren under a large meadow. The particular problems can be hard to identify and trace. But the general problem is screamingly obvious. If you can look at this clip and not know that there is a grievous problem somewhere, then the self-deception involved is truly profound.

I referred above to the problem of confusion.
Scripture obviously refers to blatant sexual sin as abominable, and the term abomination is sometimes lost on us because we think of it as merely some strong form of Bible-ese. But the Bible also talks about this kind of sinning, and the antecedent rationalizations, as inchoate confusion. “Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion” (Lev. 18:23). “And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them” (Lev. 20:12).

In our case, the confusion depends on the fact that, in the Christian world, we have limited the sin to actual genital contact. Stay away from that, and you can be as much of a swish as you want. But this is not what Scripture teaches. Adultery does not begin in the bed; it begins in the heart (Matt. 5:28). Homosex begins, not in the bathhouse, but rather in the kind of cosmos a man imagines himself to live in—provided it is not the cosmos created by the living God. Underneath the passive homosexual act is the sin of wanting to be soft, and underneath that desire to be malakoi (1 Cor. 6:9) is the sin of pride and arrogance.

So the bedrock problem here is pride. And on this, I am not speculating. What are their parades called? We have pride parades, pride days, pride festivals, and pride stickers. Pridey pride pride. This is what it means to glory in your shame. “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts” (Ps. 10:4).

Incidentally, I am aware that some will say that I obviously don’t understand art, or ballet, or culture, or something important to blue state urbanites. That’s as may be, but I understand men who still have their spiritual gonads. And if you can look at that clip and fail to understand why the church is so deeply unattractive to real men, then there is very little hope for you. And speaking of art, if you can look at that clip and fail to understand why real men are so repulsed by the artistic “community,” then there is even less hope.

By the way, for those who think that “style” is morally neutral—shoot, for those who think style is sexually neutral—here is a hypothetical test case. Leave aside all regulative principle considerations (which I do not leave aside, btw), but just leave it aside for the sake of discussion. Why would a trendy Reformed church never perform something like the below for their offertory? I will tell you why. It would trigger half the session, with the other half hiding in a safe space at the nearest community college.

In case you missed it, the Redeemer clip is appalling. It represents, as very few other things could, virtually everything that is wrong with us. “The city of confusion is broken down: Every house is shut up, that no man may come in” (Is. 24:10)
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Daily Meditation

Becoming Sure of One’s Election

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.  1 Thessalonians 1:4

Charles H. Spurgeon

Many persons want to know their election before they look to Christ, but they cannot learn it thus, it is only to be discovered by “looking unto Jesus.” If you desire to ascertain your own election;–after the following manner, shall you assure your heart before God. Do you feel yourself to be a lost, guilty sinner? go straightway to the cross of Christ, and tell Jesus so, and tell him that you have read in the Bible, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” Tell him that he has said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Look to Jesus and believe on him, and you shall make proof of your election directly, for so surely as thou believest, thou art elect.

If you will give yourself wholly up to Christ and trust him, then you are one of God’s chosen ones; but if you stop and say, “I want to know first whether I am elect,” you ask you know not what. Go to Jesus, be you never so guilty, just as you are. Leave all curious inquiry about election alone. Go straight to Christ and hide in his wounds, and you shall know your election. The assurance of the Holy Spirit shall be given to you, so that you shall be able to say, “I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him.”

Christ was at the everlasting council: he can tell you whether you were chosen or not; but you cannot find it out in any other way. Go and put your trust in him, and his answer will be–“I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” There will be no doubt about his having chosen you, when you have chosen him.

“Sons we are through God’s election,
Who in Jesus Christ believe.”
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Climate Change Update, Part IV

‘Nearly All’ Recent Global Warming Is Fabricated

James Delingpole
BreitbartLondon

[This represents the fourth article in a series exposing the fraudulent re-stating of data in the vain attempt to “prove” global warming and climate change.  This represents the biggest fraud we have seen in our lifetimes.  JT]

Much of recent global warming has been fabricated by climate scientists to make it look more frightening, a study by statisticians has found.

The peer-reviewed study by two scientists and a veteran statistician looked at the global average temperature datasets (GAST) which are used by climate alarmists to argue that recent years have been “the hottest evah” and that the warming of the last 120 years has been dramatic and unprecedented.

What they found is that these readings are “totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”  That is, the adjusted data used by alarmist organizations like NASA, NOAA, and the UK Met Office differs so markedly from the original raw data that it cannot be trusted.

This chart gives you a good idea of the direction of the adjustments.

The blue bars show where the raw temperature data has been adjusted downwards to make it cooler;  the red bars show where the raw temperature data has been adjusted upwards to make it warmer.  Note how most of the downward adjustments take place in the early twentieth century and most of the upward take place in the late twentieth century.

According to meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, who co-authored the study with statistician James Wallace and Cato Institute climate scientist Craig Idso, this has the effect of exaggerating the warming trend:

“Nearly all of the warming they are now showing are in the adjustments. . . . Each dataset pushed down the 1940s warming and pushed up the current warming. . . . You would think that when you make adjustments you’d sometimes get warming and sometimes get cooling. That’s almost never happened.”

What this means, the report concludes, is that claims by NASA, NOAA, and the UK Met Office that the world is experiencing unprecedented and dramatic warming should be taken with a huge pinch of salt: they all use the same corrupted global average temperature (GAST) data.

The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data. Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever – despite current claims of record setting warming.

[Editor’s note: climate and temperature data for New Zealand also gets reviewed.

Finally, the Southern Hemisphere temperatures have been less cyclical than temperatures in Northern Hemisphere. So, typically, in the Southern Hemisphere, there was no significant cycle to remove, and the raw data were simply adjusted to have a far more aggressive rising trend. 

In other words, the New Zealand data were changed to create “proof” of rising temperatures.]

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back to normal

july-19

devotional post # 2082

Luke 23:50-56

Luk 23:50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man,
Luk 23:51 who had not agreed to their choice and action; and he was expecting the kingdom of God.
Luk 23:52 This man went to Pilate and requested the body of Jesus.
Luk 23:53 Then he took it down and had it wrapped in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.
Luk 23:54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.
Luk 23:55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid.
Luk 23:56 Then they returned and prepared spices and oils. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

back to normal

It was apparently unusual for criminals to be given any sort of elaborate burial preparations. So, we see again that reality kind of slips back into place after the death of Christ. Joseph and the Galilean women are allowed to treat Jesus’ body with respect, the surreal hatred of him forgotten after the deed is done. Sabbath rules and Passover preparations slip back into place and the world returns to normal. Everything has changed now, but nobody seems to know it.

LORD, wake us to the reality that has changed everything: your atonement.

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Climate Change Update, Part III

The Rogue Train of Rising Electricity Prices in Australia

Something “seismic” has happened to our electricity prices.

JoNova

Paul McArdle of WattClarity goes through each state looking at quarterly trends and prices, and remarks that things are going “off the chart”. We had some electricity crises in Australia in the last 12 months, and 2016 was a significantly more expensive than all previous years bar the major drought year of 2007. But ominously, prices haven’t come down in what should be a “normal” quarter. In Tasmania there was a crisis last year when dams ran dry, and the undersea Bass cable broke. But this quarter, prices are only $3.20/MWh lower than the crisis levels of Q2 2016 despite water in dams and a working cable to Victoria. Something has gone seriously wrong with our electrical grid and market. In both Victoria and South Australia prices are higher on average than any previous April-June quarter in the 19 year history of the National Electricity Market. In Queensland and New South Wales, prices are at the “second highest”. {Emphasis, ours.]

McArdle goes to some length to explain that this is not “one factor”, which seems obvious and fair — It’s the combination of the closure of Hazelwood and Port Augusta coal generators; the extremely high gas-prices; the lack of wind; the increase of intermittent renewables; and the way electricity generators game the market. But what McArdle doesn’t mention is that these factors are not independent. If there was more coal fired power there wouldn’t be such high gas prices, and if there weren’t intermittent, highly subsidized generators, there wouldn’t be as much room to “game” the market. If there is some ominous leap in electricity prices, we know from years of experience that a grid with a lower renewables input provides cheaper time-weighted average prices even though for some isolated, miraculous moments every day, using a cherry picked description, and ignoring costs of transmission lines and auxiliary services (like “stability”) we could say we are getting “free electricity”.

A grid is a complicated animal, and people studying small separate parts of it can make accurate but totally contradictory statements. What matters is the total cost of electricity over all, after the wash, the games, the crises and the subsidies are played out. The high gas prices have other causes beyond coal and renewables, but there’s no question that Australia had a cheap backup: it could always use coal, which would mean the high gas prices wouldn’t have to hurt so much. The renewables subsidies are pushing the cheapest electricity source out of business. There is an Easy and Obvious way to let the market fix this problem that the government hath engendered, but there is no easy and obvious way to run a grid off wind and solar and no easy way to control our climate in 2100 using electrical power stations in 2017.

Thanks to Paul McArdle for crunching these numbers. Even the ABC is paying attention now, writing both “Power prices are ‘off the chart‘ and there’s no relief in sight” and  “Victorian businesses struggling with power ‘train wreck’ as wholesale prices triple since 2015“. Go to his site for the gory details.

If spot price outcomes through Q2 2016 were “truly remarkable” then price outcomes for Q2 2017 were off the chart

Paul McArdle,
Wattclarity

In Victoria, we see the average price for the Quarter break $100/MWh (up at $104.92/MWh) – a gut-wrenching level for the vast majority of energy users in what has traditionally been one of the more “boring” quarters.  In Victoria, we see that average Q2 prices have never been higher, across all 19 years of NEM history.

Saving (in this case) the worst for last, we then step over to South Australia where the time-weighted average price for the quarter reached a staggering $115.93/MWh, … it is clearly the highest Q2 average price South Australia has seen over the 19 year history of the NEM.

In the same vein as last year, the most important take-aways from this analysis should be:
1.  That the outcome for Q2 2017 was even more remarkable than Q2 2016; and
2.  That it appears that we’re entering a new environment that’s distinctly different from the years that preceded; and
3.  That this affects everyone, right across the NEM ; and finally that
4.  Those pre-disposed to draw overly simplistic  (“it was due to … [this one factor]”) conclusions are unlikely to be correct, and could be dangerously misleading.

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Daily Meditation

If God Is For You . . .

When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. Psalm 56:9

Charles H. Spurgeon

It is impossible for any human speech to express the full meaning of this delightful phrase, “God is for me.” He was “for us” before the worlds were made; he was “for us,” or he would not have given his well-beloved son; he was “for us” when he smote the Only-begotten, and laid the full weight of his wrath upon him–he was “for us,” though he was against him; he was “for us,” when we were ruined in the fall–he loved us notwithstanding all; he was “for us,” when we were rebels against him, and with a high hand were bidding him defiance; he was “for us,” or he would not have brought us humbly to seek his face.

He has been “for us” in many struggles; we have been summoned to encounter hosts of dangers; we have been assailed by temptations from without and within–how could we have remained unharmed to this hour if he had not been “for us”? He is “for us,” with all the infinity of his being; with all the omnipotence of his love; with all the infallibility of his wisdom; arrayed in all his divine attributes, he is “for us,”–eternally and immutably “for us”; “for us” when yon blue skies shall be rolled up like a worn out vesture; “for us” throughout eternity.

And because he is “for us,” the voice of prayer will always ensure his help. “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies be turned back.” This is no uncertain hope, but a well grounded assurance–“this I know.” I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up for the answer, assured that it will come, and that mine enemies shall be defeated, “for God is for me.”

O believer, how happy art thou with the King of kings on thy side! How safe with such a Protector! How sure thy cause pleaded by such an Advocate! If God be for thee, who can be against thee?

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