Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's About Time

I think my last post here was in May of 2009. I've been thinking really hard for 14 months now, and still haven't thought of anything to blog about. Except that I've started a new blog!

It will focus on really good stuff, good writing, good reading and all that. Nothing too controversial, or too political, that will all remain here. And for all I know, I may fire up this little space again. I'm feeling feisty.

Oh, yeah, and grandchild 3 is on the way! Hurray!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Books and Old Books, from Steyn to Chesterton

Consistent with the oft-repeated axiom from C.S. Lewis that the reading of new books should be punctuated with the reading of old books in order to avoid the temptation to "chronological snobbery," two books, one in each category, have ruled the reading corner of late.

The first, a relatively new one, America Alone by Mark Steyn (2005?)(been trying to get this one into my queue for a while) is a wakeup call to post-Christian America and the post-Christian church. With Europe as the model, we are offered a step-by-step analysis of the trends weakening us and the cultural suicide of the world as we know it on both sides of the pond. Some quotables...

On the false promise of secularism:
The meek's prospects of inheriting the earth are considerably diminished in a post-Christian society....[quoting Kathy Shaidle] It is secularism itself which is part of the problem, not the solution, since secularism is precisely what created the European spiritual and moral vacuum into which Islamism has rushed headlong.
On the paralyzing effect of European (now American) Socialism:
The trouble with the social democratic state is that when government does too much, nobody else does much of anything.
On the destructiveness of multiculturalism:
But if you think you genuinely believe that suttee [the Indian cultural practice of burning of the living widow along with the deceased husband] is just an example of the rich tapestry of indigenous cultures, you ought to consider what your pleasant suburb would be like if 25, 48% of the people really believed in it too. Multiculturalism was conceived by the Western elites not to celebrate all cultures but to deny their own; it is, thus, the real suicide bomb.
And there is much more, some of it quite entertaining despite the ominous topic. Which brings me to book two, much older, but in a similar vein and as timely as a stimulus package or an auto industry takeover. At Twin Cities Chesterton Society meetings, we've been reading and discussing the outstanding (large) biography of GKC by Maisie Ward (1942). Gilbert Keith Chesterton is a treasure chest of not just his story, but his vision of the world. A major component consists of early unpublished writing, correspondence and quotations. Enormously clever and joyful on many topics and many levels, GKC watched, wrote, waved his sword/walking stick in the air and cried out against England's initial embrace of precisely what we are now embracing—the diminution of religion, tradition and liberty, and the incremental arrival of the the Servile State. A couple of quotes:
We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world. We want one that will move the world. We want one that will move it away from many of the things towards which it is now moving; for instance, the Servile State. It is by that test that history will really judge, of any church, whether it is the real Church or no. —GKC
[Chesterton]...did not think, then or ever, that any increase of comfort or security was a sufficient good to be bought at the price of liberty. —Maisie Ward

Friday, May 15, 2009

No, Mr. President [revisited]
From John Piper, this is a brilliant video adaptation. Pass it on...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Driscoll Watch Continues
As someone who generally welcomes the Reformed Resurgence answer to the reheated liberalism of Emergent, but who is concerned about incipient Christ-obscuring authoritarianism and personality cult lurking in the wings, yet more bold, important, insightful analysis of the MD phenomenon. We need to listen to MacArthur, Phillips, Johnson. So does the strident young preacher in Seattle.

Phillip's review of Driscoll's address at the Gospel Coalition gets close to the heart of what has always troubled me about (enormously successful) guys like this...
And that is what sticks with me and troubles me about Driscoll's talk. It was about him, to a large degree. He was the backdrop, context, and refrain.

I think about the others I've heard. Keller? Preached Christ as the idol-smasher. I didn't have to know anything about Keller. M'man Lig Duncan? Preached Christ's grace and power. I didn't have to know anything about Lig Duncan. Ditto John Piper. Ditto every other I've heard from the conference.

Except Driscoll.
I pray that other mature leaders in this movement will also find courage to help this guy before it's too late. He seems to be surrounded and insulated by layers of young, angry Rehoboam's counselors and enabled by the silence of those who know better but who continue to provide cover.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thank You, Isaac Watts. Thank You Lord.
When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Place Where It All Started
My daughter Katie is on an extended jaunt through the British Isles, culminating in a short term course of study at Caperwray Bible School in Northern England. She sent me this picture of her in front of The Eagle and Child, one of the legendary haunts of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, Barfield and others. Pretty cool.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Welcome Samantha Rose!
Early Sunday morning (3/29) little Samantha (7 lbs. 1 oz.) made her grand entrance. She is wonderful, big brother Will is wondering a little still, and this Grandpax2 is thrilled. Congratulations and love to Nikki, Mark and Will. Early pix: