Who Do You Say I Am?: John MacArthur on The Jesus You Can't Ignore













John MacArthur on The Jesus You Can't Ignore

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We need to pay more careful attention to how Jesus dealt with false teachers, what He thought of religious error, and how He defended the truth, says evangelical pastor and popular speaker John MacArthur.

Breaking the stereotype of the gentle Jesus, MacArthur illustrates in The Jesus You Can’t Ignore how Jesus was rarely cordial when confronting false teachings, hypocrisy and self-righteousness in His time. The outspoken, bold and blunt Jesus is the one whom the Church today needs to follow, he argues.

The soft and less aggressive approach many Christians use today when engaging with nonbelievers or people of other faiths has only muddied Christian doctrine and left evangelicals indistinguishable, MacArthur indicates.

Among today’s new-style evangelicals, the author points out, it is politically incorrect to commit to the old fundamentalist notion that truth is worth fighting for.

MacArthur explains why Christians have a duty to obey and defend the truth and to do so with an authority that reflects the conviction that God has spoken with clarity and finality.

CP: What kind of Jesus did you grow up on? Was your first impression of Jesus this bold aggressive Jesus?

MacArthur: Well I was raised in a pastor’s family and my dad was a preacher of Scripture so I grew up with the scriptural Jesus.
Obviously, like so many kids, when you’re a child, the features of Jesus that are more attractive to children are emphasized. But it didn’t take long for me to hear my father preach about the Jesus who cleansed the temple, the Jesus who pronounced judgment on false religion, the Jesus who denounced the religious leaders of Israel. So I think I grew up with a pretty balanced view of Jesus but it’s right to assume when you’re a young child, in Sunday School class, you get the Jesus who tends to be the one who loves and cares for the children and heals the sick and feeds the hungry.

CP: You’ve probably come across books reporting that people like Jesus but not the church. What kind of Jesus do you think they like? Would people like this Jesus that you emphasize in your book?

MacArthur: Probably not. But most of these people are content to invent Jesus to construct Jesus in a way that suits their comfort zone. It’s as if you said which Winston Churchill do you believe in? There’s only one Winston Churchill. He was who he was … that’s the one there is you don’t get to create your own. And the same is true for Jesus. He’s a historical figure. He is who he is. But I think rather than go to the Bible and get the full picture of who Jesus is, people are very content with a sort of benign, self-satisfying view of Jesus.

CP: You mention in your book that the evangelicals are pretty much approaching postmodernism the wrong way. They’re being a lot less aggressive, less preachy and more focused on engaging in conversations. Why do you think so many evangelicals have become such softies, if you will?

MacArthur: I think there are a number of reasons. First of all, we live in a postmodern climate and my ideas have consequences, they penetrate culture. So you got this sort of postmodern idea that you got your truth and I got my truth and that has found its way into the church, in the emerging church. And along with that, the emergent movement features the idea that the Bible’s not clear, it’s an old document. They came up with that in order to separate themselves from responsibility to obey what I think is clear in Scripture.

So you have the postmodern and then you have the market-conscious church – the church that thinks the Gospel is a product; Jesus is a product we have to sell. And in order to sell him effectively we have to overcome consumer resistance and the way to overcome consumer resistance is to simply figure out a message that the consumer won’t resist. So you invent the Jesus that people will like and you invent the Gospel that people will like.

And then you have another component and that is an age in which tolerance seems to dominate, you know sort of the Rodney King theology “can’t we all just get along.” You have to be tolerant of this, tolerant of that. Intolerance is basically the only virtue left in much of our culture.
All of those things mingle together with one other very important thing. Confronting people like Jesus did, confronting people in false religion, confronting people in error, confronting people’s sins, warning them about hell, calling them to repentance, calling them to escape false religion is a very difficult thing to do. And there’s a natural tendency on the part of people to be reluctant to do that because it has negative consequences. If you feed the poor, nobody’s going to make you a martyr. If you proclaim the social gospel, you’ll be a hero on every front.

Preach the truth, call false religion a lie, tell sinners they need to repent of their sin and escape hell by putting their faith in Jesus Christ, there’s no other way, and you’re going to generate hostility. People get martyred all the time, even today in Afghanistan and Sudan and Iran and Iraq and a lot of other places for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think it’s tough to do that. So I think all these things kind of blend together to sort of suck the life and boldness out of the church … we’re just content to be nice people; hey maybe God’s going to let them into heaven if they do the best they can; I guess you can call it legalism lite. It’s not the heavy legalism of Pharisaism but it’s legalism lite – if you’re a good person you’ll kind of make your way in.

It all comes back to the fact that we’re letting the culture determine the message for us. We’re letting expectation, fear of man rather than Scripture determine our message. And rather than following Jesus in the way he presented the message – on the one hand compassionate with those who are willing to repent, tender toward those in need; on the other hand very antagonistic, literally infuriating the purveyors of false religion until they killed him.

CP: If we did take that approach of confronting the hypocrisy, false teachings and what you mentioned, then what do you think evangelicalism would look like today?

MacArthur: Well I think first of all there would be a lot of people, who call themselves evangelicals who aren’t Christians, who would come to real salvation. You have to understand Jesus said the wheat and the chaff will grow together. It’s kind of hard to pull them apart. You have the true church, true regenerate church, transformed, redeemed, indwelled by the spirit of God, serving the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is indistinguishably mingled with people who call themselves Christians, evangelicals who for all kinds of reasons … identify with the church externally but aren’t’ genuine believers. They’re in it because they’re looking for their best life now, because they lack self-esteem, because they’re afraid of death and they want to be religious.

I think the first thing that would happen if the church really came to grips with the bold proclamation of the truth the way Jesus did, is we would be able to warn these people who, hey Jesus warned them, many were saying to me lord we did this … and he’ll say depart from me, I never knew you. I think the first thing that would happen would be that people who are deceived, think they’re Christians, would find out that they really have not been genuinely saved and there would be, I would think, a marvelous response within the visible church, people truly coming to Christ. And then I think getting beyond the church, the church would really begin to have an impact because it is the truth that sanctifies. The truth is all we have and if we came back to that, it would literally redeem the church and have the impact on the culture that only the truth can have.

CP: Who would you say are today’s Pharisees?

MacArthur: In the broadest sense, the Pharisees were the purveyors of a false religion. And the heart of that false religion came down to this – you can earn your way to heaven, it’s about self-righteousness, it’s about works, it’s about ceremonies, it’s about morality. Any religion on the planet that doesn’t believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is a religion of works. It’s a religion where you make a contribution to your salvation. It doesn’t matter what that religion is. So consequently, one modern form of Pharisaism is just the vast religious realm in which people believe that you earn your way to heaven, by your own goodness, your own morality, your own religiosity, your own self-righteousness. That’s essentially Pharisaism. Pharisaism is not legalistic true Christianity. Sometimes you say about somebody who’s a real Christian, ‘well, he’s very Pharisaical.’ Pharisees represented a false religion. Believe me there are hypocritical legalistic Christians true Christians, that’s different from a false religion.

CP: You say in your book, “Certainty and conviction are out of fashion. Dogmatism is new heresy.” But many surveys now show the younger generation wants truth, clear truth and none of the ambiguity we seem to find nowadays. Do you agree?

MacArthur: We do a conference sponsored by our church every summer called Resolve. We have 5,000 kids there to listen to 11 hours of preaching on sin. There’s just this tremendous hunger. I look at our church, we’ve chronicled over the last dozen years, we’ve taken about 75 new members a month and we’ve done that for many years. Just looking at that over the last 12 years, and I basically preach an hour of expositional Scripture, call for holiness, purity, clear Gospel, all of that, 90 percent of those people over those dozen years have been 30s and under. So there’s an influx. We have a huge college ministry I would think 900 or 1000 on a Sunday morning, a lot of them from UCLA and places like that where they’re exposed to the secular world at its peak in those educational institutions. They have a real hunger for truth, clarity, objective reality. I think there’s definitely, … and this is the true church reacting. False Christians don’t have that appetite for the truth.

CP: You say confronting false teaching and hypocrisy should be one of the highest priorities of a Christian. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that emphasis from many pastors. It’s usually serve the poor, or share the good news.

MacArthur: I know they didn’t kill Jesus because he fed the poor, they didn’t kill Jesus because he healed the sick. They killed him because he confronted their self-righteousness and told them their religion would send them to hell. This is the loving thing you have to do. You want to take care of the poor, that’s a biblical command. … The priority for us, the great demand is the proclamation of the saving Gospel. It doesn’t matter whether you go to heaven poor or rich, it just matters that you go to heaven. So at the end of the day, you can’t substitute social action for the Gospel.

If you do social action stuff, everybody applauds you. If you preach the Gospel, they resent you. So you follow the line of least resistance. The church has to recapture its own courage and be faithful to follow the path the Lord took.

CP: The church in Ephesus, which was adamant about exposing and confronting false teachings, was rebuked by Christ for forsaking their first love. Do you see any danger in Christians today losing that first love by focusing on fighting the hypocrisy and false doctrines/preachers?

MacArthur: That is most definitely a danger-and it’s a significant one. Jesus warned the church at Ephesus that He would remove their lampstand from its place if they did not repent. Still, pay careful attention to what Christ demands of them. He did not authorize them to cease their polemic against the Nicolaitains or let down their guard against the false apostles. What they needed to do instead was recover their love for Christ (and His truth) as the true motive for their watchfulness.

It should perhaps be noted that the Ephesian spirit became a major problem among certain fundamentalists in the early and mid-20th century. Many of them lost focus in the fight for the truth, becoming more enthralled with the fight than they were with the truth. They ultimately began fighting one another over petty matters, and their movement is practically irrelevant today. Their lampstand in effect seems to have been removed. Certainly, then, the tendency to leave one’s first love is a temptation every truth-warrior must recognize and resist.

But surely the greater problem among mainstream evangelicals today is the exact opposite. Contemporary mainstream evangelicals have much more in common with the church at Pergamos, who blithely tolerated Nicolaitains and Balaamites; or the church at Thyatira, who provided a platform for a Jezebellian false prophetess; or the church at Sardis--the spiritually dead church whose people had defiled their garments by consorting with the world; or the church at Corinth, who took great pride in their tolerance of things in their midst so sordid even unbelievers were scandalized.

Those, I think, are the dominant dangers today, and that’s the message of my book. But the book also recognizes the opposite danger and repeatedly cautions against it as well.

So your question is an excellent one. We do need to bear in mind how easy it is to overcorrect against an imbalance and veer into the ditch on the other side. Those who are truly circumspect and who cultivate authentic biblical wisdom will recognize that there are pitfalls on every side and avoid them all.

Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel ~ Albert Mohler, Jr


Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel - And Why So Many Christians Think It Is

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One of the most amazing statements by the Apostle Paul is his indictment of the Galatian Christians for abandoning the Gospel. "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel," Paul declared. As he stated so emphatically, the Galatians had failed in the crucial test of discerning the authentic Gospel from its counterfeits.

His words could not be more clear: "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you have received, he is to be accursed!" [Gal. 1:8-9]

This warning from the Apostle Paul, expressed in the language of the Apostle's shock and grief, is addressed not only to the church in Galatia, but to every congregation in every age. In our own day -- and in our own churches -- we desperately need to hear and to heed this warning. In our own time, we face false gospels no less subversive and seductive than those encountered and embraced by the Galatians.

In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this -- the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.

Sadly, this false gospel is particularly attractive to those who believe themselves to be evangelicals motivated by a biblical impulse. Far too many believers and their churches succumb to the logic of moralism and reduce the Gospel to a message of moral improvement. In other words, we communicate to lost persons the message that what God desires for them and demands of them is to get their lives straight.

In one sense, we are born to be moralists. Created in God's image, we have been given the moral capacity of conscience. From our earliest days our conscience cries out to us the knowledge of our guilt, shortcomings, and misbehaviors. In other words, our conscience communicates our sinfulness.

Add to this the fact that the process of parenting and child rearing tends to inculcate moralism from our earliest years. Very quickly we learn that our parents are concerned with our behavior. Well behaved children are rewarded with parental approval, while misbehavior brings parental sanction. This message is reinforced by other authorities in young lives and pervades the culture at large.

Writing about his own childhood in rural Georgia, the novelist Ferrol Sams described the deeply-ingrained tradition of being "raised right." As he explained, the child who is "raised right" pleases his parents and other adults by adhering to moral conventions and social etiquette. A young person who is "raised right" emerges as an adult who obeys the laws, respects his neighbors, gives at least lip service to religious expectations, and stays away from scandal. The point is clear -- this is what parents expect, the culture affirms, and many churches celebrate. But our communities are filled with people who have been "raised right" but are headed for hell.

The seduction of moralism is the essence of its power. We are so easily seduced into believing that we actually can gain all the approval we need by our behavior. Of course, in order to participate in this seduction, we must negotiate a moral code that defines acceptable behavior with innumerable loopholes. Most moralists would not claim to be without sin, but merely beyond scandal. That is considered sufficient.

Moralists can be categorized as both liberal and conservative. In each case, a specific set of moral concerns frames the moral expectation. As a generalization, it is often true that liberals focus on a set of moral expectations related to social ethics while conservatives tend to focus on personal ethics. The essence of moralism is apparent in both -- the belief that we can achieve righteousness by means of proper behavior.

The theological temptation of moralism is one many Christians and churches find it difficult to resist. The danger is that the church will communicate by both direct and indirect means that what God expects of fallen humanity is moral improvement. In so doing, the church subverts the Gospel and communicates a false gospel to a fallen world.

Christ's Church has no option but to teach the Word of God, and the Bible faithfully reveals the law of God and a comprehensive moral code. Christians understand that God has revealed Himself throughout creation in such a way that He has gifted all humanity with the restraining power of the law. Furthermore, He has spoken to us in His word with the gift of specific commands and comprehensive moral instruction. The faithful Church of the Lord Jesus Christ must contend for the righteousness of these commands and the grace given to us in the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. We also have a responsibility to bear witness of this knowledge of good and evil to our neighbors. The restraining power of the law is essential to human community and to civilization.

Just as parents rightly teach their children to obey moral instruction, the church also bears responsibility to teach its own the moral commands of God and to bear witness to the larger society of what God has declared to be right and good for His human creatures.

But these impulses, right and necessary as they are, are not the Gospel. Indeed, one of the most insidious false gospels is a moralism that promises the favor of God and the satisfaction of God's righteousness to sinners if they will only behave and commit themselves to moral improvement.

The moralist impulse in the church reduces the Bible to a codebook for human behavior and substitutes moral instruction for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Far too many evangelical pulpits are given over to moralistic messages rather than the preaching of the Gospel.

The corrective to moralism comes directly from the Apostle Paul when he insists that "a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus." Salvation comes to those who are "justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified." [Gal. 2:16]

We sin against Christ and we misrepresent the Gospel when we suggest to sinners that what God demands of them is moral improvement in accordance with the Law. Moralism makes sense to sinners, for it is but an expansion of what we have been taught from our earliest days. But moralism is not the Gospel, and it will not save. The only gospel that saves is the Gospel of Christ. As Paul reminded the Galatians, "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." [Gal. 4:4-5]

We are justified by faith alone, saved by grace alone, and redeemed from our sin by Christ alone. Moralism produces sinners who are (potentially) better behaved. The Gospel of Christ transforms sinners into the adopted sons and daughters of God.

The Church must never evade, accommodate, revise, or hide the law of God. Indeed, it is the Law that shows us our sin and makes clear our inadequacy and our total lack of righteousness. The Law cannot impart life but, as Paul insists, it "has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith." [Gal. 3:24]

The deadly danger of moralism has been a constant temptation to the church and an ever-convenient substitute for the Gospel. Clearly, millions of our neighbors believe that moralism is our message. Nothing less than the boldest preaching of the Gospel will suffice to correct this impression and to lead sinners to salvation in Christ.

Hell will be highly populated with those who were "raised right." The citizens of heaven will be those who, by the sheer grace and mercy of God, are there solely because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Moralism is not the gospel.

A look inside Cyber Warfare

How Team of Geeks Cracked Spy Trade

By SIOBHAN GORMAN

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- From a Silicon Valley office strewn with bean-bag chairs, a group of twenty-something software engineers is building an unlikely following of terrorist hunters at U.S. spy agencies.

One of the latest entrants into the government spy-services marketplace, Palantir Technologies has designed what many intelligence analysts say is the most effective tool to date to investigate terrorist networks. The software's main advance is a user-friendly search tool that can scan multiple data sources at once, something previous search tools couldn't do. That means an analyst who is following a tip about a planned terror attack, for example, can more quickly and easily unearth connections among suspects, money transfers, phone calls and previous attacks around the globe.

Helping Hunt Terrorists From a Bean Bag-Strewn Office

Darcy Padilla for The Wall Street Journal

Employee Nick Miyate demonstrated the red light and bubble machine that turns on whenever an engineer fixes a software error, or "build break."

Palantir's software has helped root out terrorist financing networks, revealed new trends in roadside bomb attacks, and uncovered details of Syrian suicide bombing networks in Iraq, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the events. It has also foiled a Pakistani suicide bombing plot on Western targets and discovered a spy infiltration of an allied government. It is now being used by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Yet Palantir -- which takes its name from the "seeing stones" in the "Lord of the Rings" series -- remains an outlier among government security contractors. It rejected advice to hire retired generals to curry favor with the agencies and hired young government analysts frustrated by working with slow-footed technology. The company's founders knew little about intelligence gathering when they started out. Instead, they went on a fact-finding mission, working with analysts to build the product from scratch.

"We were very naive. We just thought this was a cool idea," says Palantir's 41-year-old chief executive Alexander Karp, whose usual dress is a track-suit jacket, blue jeans, and red leather sneakers. "I underestimated how difficult it would be."

Track part of one Palantir investigation.

Technology like Palantir's is increasingly important to spies confronting an information explosion, where terrorists can hide communications in vast data streams on the Internet. Intelligence agencies are struggling to identify and monitor such information -- and quickly send relevant data to the analysts who need it. U.S. officials say the software is also crucial as the country steps up its offensive in difficult theaters like Afghanistan. There, Palantir's software is now being used to analyze constantly shifting tribal dynamics and distinguish potential allies from enemies, according to current and former counterterrorism officials familiar with the work.

"It's a new way of war fighting," says former Assistant Secretary of Defense Mary Beth Long. While there are many good systems, Ms. Long says, with Palantir's software "you can actually point to examples where it was pretty clear that lives were saved."

Palantir's chief rivals are I2 Inc., a 20-year-old software company with offices in McLean, Va., and a handful of defense contractors who have been building software for intelligence agencies for years. I2's general manager, Todd Drake, dismisses his upstart competitor as "the new sexy thing," saying that Palantir won't be able to make lasting inroads in a government market that prizes the stability of established companies. Palantir CEO Mr. Karp says such criticism doesn't trouble him. He says the company is already expanding rapidly.

Palantir's roots date back to 2000, when Mr. Karp returned to the U.S. after living for years in Frankfurt, where he earned his doctorate in German social philosophy and discovered a talent for investing. He reconnected with a buddy from Stanford Law School, Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of online payment company PayPal.

Fighting Terrorism the Silicon Valley Way

3:18

Palantir may look like a typical Silicon Valley start-up, with free food and the usual comforts to make work more like home. But with clients like the FBI and CIA, it's far from the usual software company.

In 2003, Mr. Thiel pitched an idea to Mr. Karp: Could they build software that would uncover terror networks using the approach PayPal had devised to fight Russian cybercriminals?

PayPal's software could make connections between fraudulent payments that on the surface seemed unrelated. By following such leads, PayPal was able to identify suspect customers and uncover cybercrime networks. The company saw a tenfold decrease in fraud losses after it launched the software, while many competitors struggled to beat back cheaters.

Mr. Thiel wanted to design software to tackle terrorism because at the time, he says, the government's response to issues like airport security was increasingly "nightmarish." The two launched Palantir in 2004 with three other investors, but they attracted little interest from venture-capital firms. The company's $30 million start-up costs were largely bankrolled by Mr. Thiel and his own venture-capital fund.

They modeled Palantir's culture on Google's, with catered meals of ahi tuna and a free-form 24-hour workplace wired so 16 people can play the Halo video game. The kitchen is stocked by request with such items as Pepto Bismol and glass bottles of Mexican Coca Cola sweetened with sugar not corn syrup. The company recently hosted its own battle of the bands.

One of the venture firms that rejected Palantir's overtures steered the company to In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit venture-capital firm established by the CIA a decade ago to tap innovation that could be used for intelligence work. As Silicon Valley's venture funding dries up, In-Q-Tel says it has seen a surge of requests from start-ups in the last year or so, many of which now see the government as an alternate money stream.

In-Q-Tel invested about $2 million in Palantir and provided a critical entreƩ to the CIA and other agencies. For his first spy meeting in 2005, Mr. Karp shed his track suit for a sports coat. He arrived at an agency -- he won't say which one -- and was immediately "freaked out" by security officers guarding the building with guns. In a windowless, code-locked room, he introduced himself to the first official he met: "Hi, I'm Alex Karp," Mr. Karp said, offering his hand. No response. "I didn't know you really don't ask their names," he says now.

Mr. Karp showed the group a prototype. The software was similar to PayPal's fraud-detection system. But instead of identifying and connecting cyber criminals, it focused on two hypothetical terror suspects and followed their activities, including travel and money transfers.

After the demo, he was peppered with skeptical questions: Is anyone at your company cleared to work with classified information? Have you ever worked with intelligence agencies? Do you have senior advisers who have worked with intelligence agencies? Do you have a sales force that is cleared to work with classified information? The answer every time: no.

But the group was sufficiently intrigued by the demo, and In-Q-Tel arranged for Palantir engineers to meet directly with intelligence analysts, to help build a comprehensive search tool from scratch.

[Funding Trickle]

Every other week for about two years, the engineers returned to Washington with a revised product, based on analysts' requests. The approach won over a number of tech-savvy younger analysts who asked their bosses to adopt the software.

Spy agencies like the CIA and military intelligence organizations have hundreds of databases each, most of which aren't linked up. A single database might contain reports from field agents or lists of known terrorists or companies thought to be financing terrorism. To conduct an investigation, analysts have to query individual databases separately, then try to make sense of the data -- frequently with pen and paper.

With many of the existing search tools, analysts also can't access some files on terrorist suspects or other threats because a bit of data in the file is classified at a level higher than they are allowed to see. That is a problem, because making connections among new clues and existing data is a key to foiling terrorist plots. Among the missed opportunities cited by post-9/11 investigations were the failure to see that five of the 19 hijackers used the same phone number as ringleader Mohammad Atta to book their airline tickets, two used the same frequent-flier number, and five used two common addresses to make their reservations.

Palantir's software plugs these gaps by using a "tagging" technique similar to that used by the search functions on most Web sites. Palantir tags, or categorizes, every bit of data separately, whether it be a first name, a last name or a phone number. That means if only one piece of data in a file is classified top-secret, an analyst with a lower level clearance can still see the rest of the data. It also allows analysts to quickly tag information themselves as it arrives in the form of field reports from spies overseas, and to see who else in the agency is doing similar research so they can share their findings.

By connecting different databases, analysts can start making new links. Someone could see, for example, that one terrorist suspect flagged in one database has been living at the same address as the cousin of another suspect whose information is in another database, and that the two men flew to the same city after money was transferred to a particular bank account.

Some analysts say Palantir's strength is helping analysts draw inferences when confronted with an enormous amount of disparate data. Palantir's tool is getting a thumbs-up from officers using it. "It is much simpler to understand the results of inquiries, and provides more in-depth database links then the current programs in use by the Army today," says Captain James King, an Army intelligence officer.

Bloomberg News

Palantir CEO Alexander Karp

A handful of agencies have adopted Palantir's software for specific projects. The Pentagon recently used it to track patterns in roadside bomb deployment. Officials say analysts were able to connect two reports and conclude that garage-door openers were being used as remote detonators and soldiers on the ground had a new device to look for.

Analysts at West Point recently used Palantir's software to map evidence of Syrian suicide-bombing networks buried within nearly 700 al Qaeda documents, including hundreds of personnel records that the military recovered in Iraq. The analysts did an initial sweep of the data without the Palantir tool and assembled a report on foreign fighters in Iraq who were paying Syrian middlemen to send over suicide bombers.

A second analysis with Palantir uncovered more details of the Syrian networks, including profiles of their top coordinators, which led analysts to conclude there wasn't one Syrian network, but many. Analysts identified key facilitators, how much they charged people who wanted to become suicide bombers, and where many of the fighters came from. Fighters from Saudi Arabia, for example, paid the most -- $1,088 -- for the opportunity to become suicide bombers.

Such details helped local law enforcement break up some of the rings, said one U.S. official familiar with the work. It also revealed the extent to which al Qaeda was relying on mercenary smuggling networks, rather than true believers, to get suicide bombers into Iraq.

In the past two years, Palantir's work in Washington has expanded from eight pilot programs to more than 50 projects, executives say. The Australian government is now a client, and the NSA is eyeing Palantir, as is the U.K., current and former government officials say.

The company expects to turn a profit on its government work this year -- it recently started working with financial companies, but says it is too early to see any profits from that yet -- and for revenues to reach $100 million within the next two years. Palantir also maintains a pro-bono roster. It examined the cyber attacks on the central Asian country of Georgia last year, and earlier this year helped Canadian researchers uncover a cyberspying operation on the Dalai Lama. The company is now working with a nonprofit investigative group in Washington to resolve open questions in the 2002 murder of The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

In 2007, Mr. Karp hired his first intelligence-agency alum, David Worn, to open a Washington office. Mr. Worn says he was among the younger agency analysts who felt trapped in an outdated system.

As he builds up the East Coast office, which now employs 20 people, Mr. Worn says that the company is still figuring out "how to live in those two worlds" of Silicon Valley and Washington. One thing that does seem to help: He and his colleagues make frequent trips to Palo Alto to make sure they don't lose "the vibe of the Shire," the home of the hobbits from Lord of the Rings.

Write to Siobhan Gorman at siobhan.gorman@wsj.com

Losing it in a Cyber Silly World: IS God a Mac or a PC





Yes this is me.
Ok...., I am losing it.

I really did got to school and get a Network Engineers degree and I know I have that around here somewhere...,

TO ALL WHO MAY HAVE TRIED TO "FRIEND" "FOLLOW" OR CONNECT in some way on any of the Social Networks and I accidentally UN FOLLOWED or Undid or Just lost it completly.......

OH WELL

No Seriously, Re-try, I just hit the wrong button or key stroke.

VOLUNTARY and FREE ministries, often go thru learning curves where we get up to bat with a Good Idea or we know there IS a way to do something, though we may not have found it yet, and when the day of the big game arrives and we are at bat...

The Pitcher beans you and knocks you out cold....,

LOL Redistributing Devotionals:

It's called aggregator not aggrevator for tech-etts and Nerdies, can present a wide variety of issues in playing the ole cut and paste routine which normal "Church's, Ministries, Sane People and those with a modicum of common sense: PAY SOMEONE TO DO IT.

Since I am freely you get since some days you might not......Weeeeellllll.....lets just say One person can make a difference most days with the help os the Holy Spirit,

But if you been around as long as I have......,

Somedays you get stomped on. LOL.


Playing catch up now so postings get easier and I have time to eat, sleep, pray, wellll you know.

Be patient if you ran into any issues, I get to it eventually...or God does have a way of getting my attention.

Michael James Stone

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