Thursday, February 15, 2007


Ann Coulter's piece on the man whose candidacy has captivated and energized a broad range of Americans—all up and down the Malibu beachfront—is worth the time.

Favorite quote: "Obama made his announcement surrounded by hundreds of adoring Democratic voters. And those were just the reporters."

Monday, February 12, 2007

More Gems from J. Gresham Machen

On the weakened, more culturally attractive view of God and man offered by liberal theology then (1923) and it's current incarnation, the "emergent conversation" today—contrasted with the terrible and joyous purity of the Bible's teaching:

"Religion cannot be made joyful simply by looking on the bright side of God. For a one-sided God is not a real God, and it is the real God alone who can satisfy the longing of our soul...."

"...God's own Son delivered up for us all, freedom from the world, sought by philosophers of all the ages, offered now freely to every simple soul, things hidden from the wise and prudent revealed unto babes, the long striving over, the impossible accomplished, sin conquered by mysterious grace, communion at length with the holy God, our Father which art in heaven."

Surely this and this alone is joy. But it is a joy that is akin to fear. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Were we not safer with a God of our own devising—love and only love, a Father and nothing else, one before whom we could stand in our own merit without fear? He who will may be satisfied with such a God. But we, God help us—sinful as we are, we would see Jehovah. Despairing, hoping, trembling, half-doubting and half-believing, trusting all to Jesus, we venture into the presence of the very God. And in His presence we live."
—Christianity and Liberalism p.134-135

Go Machen!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Recent and Current Reading
If anybody has read any of this, I'd love to hear your impressions or objections.

Recently read:
Above All Earthly Pow'rs by David Wells
Powerful (and readable) analysis of Evangelicalism's drift away from Truth into post-modern fog.
The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper
A little book with a huge chapter on worship that (rightly) contradicts much of what you hear on that subject.
Becoming Conversant with Emergent by D.A. Carson
Makes our emergent friends twitch. Money quote: "Damn all false antitheses to hell." (refuting the notion that for Christians the only alternative to cultural irrelevance is to sail off into the fog of subjectivism with the rest of the culture)
A Series of Unfortunate Events, A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
Trying to figure out why these were so popular with my daughter and others. Sort of figured it out.
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Must read every few years for me. I heard again recently how some anal-retentive self-appointed societal minders managed to get this removed from yet another school reading list on the charge of racist language. On the contrary, anybody who has encountered HF and does not emerge from every reading with increased sympathy and respect for American blacks, and with exponentially increased contempt for Southern white arrogance and the evil stupidity of racism is dull indeed.
Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen 1923
Deja Vu. Mainline protestantism in the early years of the last century introduced the same subjectivism and the same deadly errors for essentially the same reasons as the left wing of Evangelicalism (including but not limited to our emergent friends) finds those disastrous compromises attractive today. A perfect 84 year old counterpoint to last weeks theological news. In the process, Machen sets forth a crystal clear explanation of the Gospel that could be a Doctrine I textbook. Wonderful quote:
"Light may seem at times to be an impertinent intruder, but it is always beneficial in the end. The type of religion which rejoiced in the pious sound of traditional phrases, regardless of their meanings, or shrinks from 'controversial' matters, will never stand amid the shocks of life. In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight."
Currently reading:

Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher
I like a lot of it, jury is still out. He's big on home-schooling...for the right I give him credit there. Not sure on his economics.
The Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis
Every few years on this one. It's making more sense this time around. He really nails Freud and the Spirit of the Age in the 1900s. He's about to have fun with some theologians up on the dry, barren plateau they inhabit.
Aristotle the Barnes and Noble edition
I'm told you have to understand Aristotle to understand Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and early Catholic theology. I don't understand any of them, but I'm going to give this one a go. Just barely started.
Life as a Vapor by John Piper
A series of sweet, succinct meditations that always leave you with something to ponder and/or obey.