by David and Tim Bayly on November 11, 2005 - 7:16am
Under the post, "On images: an apology for our work...," a discussion of ad hominem has developed and I'd like to take a couple minutes to express a conviction I've had growing in me for quite a while; namely, I think ad hominem arguments might well be used much, much more by Christians, and particularly church officers contending for God's People and His Truth--that is, if we are to take Scripture as our model not only in its doctrine but also in the methods of its Author.
As just one instance, the Apostle Paul says of the Judaizers in the Galatian church, "They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them" (Galatians 4:17). And in the midst of theological diagnosis and correction this practice is repeated over and over within the pages of Scripture.
We must ask, was the Apostle Paul--or, really, the Holy Spirit--unaware of the categories of logical error we've come to recognize today? And were he and He writing today, would the arguments of Galatians, for instance, be altered to take them into consideration?
Then too, I've long appreciated the work of Paul Johnson and E. Michael Jones. Johnson's Intellectuals is a masterpiece of ad hominem which does much to demonstrate the heart of the errors of men like Rousseau, Marx, and Ibsen. And the one statement repeatedly made there has been foundational for me since reading it: that the men Johnson sketches shared in common the trait of professing love for all mankind while being unable to love any particular individual, least of all the members of their own household. Here's one example:
In Johnson's chapter on the Russian novelist, Tolstoy, Johnson records how, in the heat of a moment of charitable fervor, Tolstoy abandoned his wife, Sonya, as well as their sick four-month-old, Alexei, and set off into the country to lead some large act of social reform. Johnson continues:
This desertion, as (Tolstoy's wife Sonya) saw it, provoked ...a letter which struck a new note of bitterness in their relationship. It sums up not only her own difficulties with Tolstoy but the anger most ordinary people come to feel in coping with a great humanitarian intellectual: "My little one is still unwell, and I am very tender and pitying. You and (Tolstoy's spiritual guru of the moment with whom he had run off on this mission) Syutayev may not especially love your own children, but we simple mortals are neither able nor wish to distort our feelings or to justify our lack of love for a person by professing some love or other for the whole world."
Sonya was raising the question, as a result of observing Tolstoy's behavior over many years, not least to his own family, whether he ever really loved any individual human being, as opposed to loving mankind as an idea (p. 125).
Then to E. Michael Jones: ah, where to start?
About twenty years ago I attended the Allies for Faith and Renewal conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and met Jones there in the lobby of the campus dorm where conference participants were staying. Tall, thin, with a shoulder bag, he had the gnarly aspect of a disenfranchised intellectual fresh out of hippiedom that appealed to me then. When he told me he edited a magazine, I immediately subscribed, and I've been a subscriber ever since.
Marvin Olasky has to be one of the most courageous men I've ever worked with (and no flattery here--I've said this to many, privately), but E. Michael Jones goes him one better...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 15, 2005 - 11:37am
Under my brother's unseemly post just below, What any REALLY red-blooded American male wants for Christmas..., one of our faithful readers commented:
When I saw this I fell out of my chair! Last night I duct taped a razor to a wooden handle for this very purpose. It worked like a charm except it needed a bend in it to be more effective. I think I used 2 cents worth of tape and I found the handle. That's much cheaper than the one shown. (Signed) Jack
Since his comment was posted, by a devious and backhanded means we've come across an actual picture of Jack holding his backward tool:
Jack strikes us as the neanderthal sort, so it's not surprising he lives in that neanderthal state of all things hunky-dory, Texas.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 1, 2006 - 8:01am
Read this article, all the way to to the bottom where you'll see a correction. Note that correction--it's a classic, going a long way towards explaining the speech patterns of husbands and wives. You know, wife asks husband, "Honey, could you pick up the kids?"
Husband hears, "Money, could you hiccup the lids?"
by David and Tim Bayly on February 21, 2006 - 10:53am
One of the most gifted artists I know is Ben Byers, a fine young member of Christ the Word (CTW). Last month Tim Varner, CTW's newsletter editor, asked Ben for a cartoon on church life in CTW. And, well... this was what Ben came up with.
If you'd like more information on Ben or his art, please contact me.
In the meantime, Baylyblog foes beware: a grand satiric artist is in our camp.
1. Force Doug Wilson to type with mittens--the only way most of us could possibly keep up. Also: have posts on Blog & Mablog stay on the main page longer than a week.
2. Strategically shorten posts at PyroManiacs--or alternatively, have posts continue on a separate page after several initial paragraphs on the main page. There's just too much scrolling.
3. Make Phillip Johnson go back to doing his own blog. Maybe give him a brother to write with so he can rest at times without the blog withering (or veering off in a jarring direction).
4. Refuse WorldMagBlog permission ever again to make a post in the form of a "What do you think?" question. Also, require WORLD's bloggers to read and participate in the give-and-take under their posts.
5. Force all bloggers and responders to get their mother's approval.
6. Ban comic-book illustration.
7. Ban mention of N. T. Wright (now that we've said our piece).
8. Accurate name, address, church membership info and email address of blogger on top of all blog front pages.
9. Auto remove all blogs which haven't been updated for over two weeks from blogrolls.
10. Leave taverns to pagans. Why do Christian taverns tend to produce nasty drunks? The friends I used to drink with grew maudlin as the night deepened. They'd play Otis Redding on the jukebox and sip 3.2 beer, growing quieter and quieter all the while. I had one friend who was a nasty drunk but he's dead--from a punch to the head in a tavern after one insult too many to the wrong man.
11. Require mother's AND elder board approval of pastoral blogs.
Last week we called on you to vote in Pyromaniacs' contest for best talent show performance. The winner, by a considerable margin, was a juggling performance by Chris Bliss to the music of the Beatles' Golden Slumber/Carry that Weight/The End.
But on this site, Ben Crum introduced a new entrant: Jason Garfield juggling to Chris Bliss's Beatles soundtrack. You can see it here. After viewing it several times, I'm convinced Garfield simply outclasses Bliss as a juggler, if not as a showman. Take a look at this dead-on replica of Bliss's act--but with five juggled balls instead of three.
Be certain to watch the video to the end. At the very end, Garfield briefly juggles five balls in each hand--an awesome, if brief, performance.
True story: T_IFriday's just opened their first restaurant here in Bloomington. Last Friday, it took on a certain notoriety for serving a man a hamburger garnished with a finger tip. Meanwhile, one of the kitchen managers was on his way to the emergency room to get some stitches. Apparently, someone took the patron literally when he said he wasn't very hungry and asked for some finger food.
T_IFriday's spokeswoman, Amy Freshwater, soothed troubled waters, saying the restaurant would "absolutely not" suffer any loss of business because of the incident.
If you've lived in Boston, imagine this. The Red Sox were starting Tim Wakefield, the knuckleballer, last night against the Yankees, and at the last minute they decided to reacquire Doug Mirabelli to catch for him. (It's not easy.) Problem was, Mirabelli had to be aquired from San Diego and to get to Fenway Park, pronto.
The Red Sox chartered a jet that sped across the country and made it to Boston's Logan Airport where Mirabelli disembarked at 6:48 PM. Changing into his uniform in the car that picked him up, his police escort helped him make it to Fenway by 7 PM. He was announced over the PA as the starting catcher at 7:07 PM. The crowd roared its approval.
(Update: The BBC asked YouTube to remove its video of the interview. BBC's explanation and video of the incident is available here. Good video of the interview is also available here.)
Check out this video. The BBC was doing a breaking news segment on last week's British court decision in favor of Apple Computer in a lawsuit against ITunes by the Beatles' Apple Records.
Their hope was to have Guy Kewney, European editor of EWeek.com, comment live on BBC news. But when Guy Goma showed up for an employment interview with the BBC's IT department, the receptionist sent him right into the studio where they were live on camera.
The look on his face in the first few seconds is priceless.
In the past, my wife and I had some arguments about a certain IU basketball coach. More recently, though, we've been seeing things the same. We both liked Coach Mike Davis and we both were disgusted when Kelvin Sampson was hired to replace Coach Davis.
Then, this morning, Mary Lee brought me the paper opened to the article announcing the NCAA's sanctions against Coach Sampson for his recruiting violations back at Oklahoma. Dropping the paper next to me, she said, "I hope by some fluke he brings a losing streak to Indiana." I agree.
So why are we so hostile to Coach Sampson?
We're not. Our hostility is directed towards IU basketball in general; and more specifically...
Dad used to say every article in Reader's Digest fit into one of three categories: "Oh, the wonder of it," "Oh, the horror of it," and just plain "Oh."
Last week I was skin diving off the beach of Florida's Caladesi Island State Park. Mary Lee and I had a wedding in Orlando on Memorial Day and we'd taken a couple days of vacation in the Clearwater Beach area. Mary Lee had heard that Caladesi Island was beautiful so we drove up to Honeymoon Island and took the ferry over. She was on the beach with her book and I was out in the water looking for sand dollars and shells. All of a sudden my mask got dark, but the darkness seemed to be inside the mask!
Being color blind, it took a moment to realize what the darkness was, but soon it was clear I'd gotten a nosebleed and my mask was filled with blood. I ripped the mask off and rinsed it out, but as soon as I put it on, it again began to fill with blood. Then it occurred to me that, for once in my life, the nosebleed thing was no big deal. After all, I was in water and the water quickly washed it all away.
For a while, I kept pulling the mask off to rinse it, but then I realized the nose bleed was less of a big deal than I'd thought: I didn't even need to take my mask off and rinse it since the purge valve would work as well with blood as it did with water. So then I just cleared the mask in the normal way, blowing air into the mask to displace the water and blood. (Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about nosebleeds while skin diving, right?)
Mary Lee got up from her perch on the sand and came out into the water to talk. She suggested I go over and offer to help two men who were looking for a pair of sunglasses one of them had dropped into the water. I swam over and offered my help. They told me the general area where they thought the sunglasses had fallen and I began to sweep the area under water. A couple times I came up to get oriented, once quite near one of the men. Seeing the blood, he asked me whether I was worried about sharks? I said, "No, not really," but when I went back under, I was worried about sharks.
There wasn't much I could do, though, other than to get out of the water and gross out the people on the beach as I stood there waiting for the bleeding to stop. Much better to be under water with the water washing it all away. While waiting I remembered my son, Taylor, had said that if a shark attacked you, you needed to punch it in its gills or eyes--not its mouth. My fist was ready.
It took about a half hour before the bleeding stopped. I was relieved not to have to worry about sharks anymore. The two men left without finding their glasses and I continued to sweep up and down the beach, picking up dead sand dollars and shells. About an hour after the men left, I found a pair of sunglasses, but Mary Lee said they were ugly so we threw them out on our way back to the ferry.
In the car on the way home we talked about how disastrous it would be if the nosebleed returned during the wedding, but we forgot to knock on wood...
Note: This comment, left by Bill Mouser under the "Oh, the horror of it" post, clearly needed to be promoted to the main page. So here 'tis:
I add this anecdote, because it needs to be preserved somewhere. I heard it from Dr. Richard Beale, who was pastor of First Baptist Church in Tuscon for 52 years. He related it to me when I interned in a church where he had retired.
When Dr. Beale was "prominent" in Tuscon, a woman died who was also prominent on the local scene. She was not a member of his congregation, but Dr. Beale agreed to perform her funeral, which was a huge social occasion. He tells me that he unwisely allowed the local Ladies Club design the service.
All went swimmingly until the graveside. The Ladies Club had composed a flowery prayer which Dr. Beale was to read. At one point in the prayer, there was a phrase about her spirit ascending up to heaven. At this point, Dr. Beale had been instructed to cease speaking, until someone standing by had opened a wicker cage, inside of which reposed two white turtledoves with long white satin ribbons tied to their ankles. The idea was for the turtledoves flying away to present a picture of Ms. Prominent heading off to heaven.
Dr. Beale did as he was instructed. He stopped. The wicker cage was opened, but the turtledoves remained inside. A few gentle jerks didn't dislodge them. So, the turtledove bearer shook the cage violently, whereupon the turtledoves gripped the open edge of the cage, flapped their wings in panic, and made screaming noises that turtledoves make when terrified. Dr. Beale told me that at this point, he was having trouble breathing normally, as he wanted to break out in guffaws.
At last, the wicker cage bearer gave a mighty jerk and the turtledoves turned loose of the cage. But, they dropped to the ground, ran to the open grave (the casket suspended above it) and jumped down into the hole in the ground. Several matrons leaped up, grabbed the ribbons which were still above ground, and pulled the screaming and squawking turtledoves out of the grave. After additional flapping and dragging of turtledoves, they beat a ragged retreat, not heavenward, but toward a stand of bushes running alongside the cemetary
Somehow, Dr. Beale finished the prayer. To me, he wondered out loud if the Lord was not making His own statement about the deceased's destination upon death.
This morning's headline reads, "Gene study shows sex differences go deep."
My first response is "Why sex differences?" I thought 'sex' had been replaced by 'gender'? But then I guess when we talk about genes even the chattering classes know we're not talking about a social construct, but God's biological marking that's either man or woman. So just for a moment, we're back to the word 'sex.'
My second response is, "Duh!"
We're visiting Doug (our son-in-law), Heather, and family here in Nashville and last night after dinner, Heather, Mary Lee, and Cassie drove out of the city limits to buy fireworks for the Taylor Family Reunion while the men stayed home and babysat the children, right?
Wrong. The men--Doug, Taylor, and I--made the pilgrimage out of town.
And on our way home, I saw a man driving a pickup that was a year or two old, all buff (the pickup), pulling a trailer holding about six 4X8 sheets of particle board, some eight foot pieces of trim, and a few other pieces of wood. I wondered out loud why the man didn't just put the wood in his pickup?
Well, any idiot knows he didn't want to mess up the bed of his pickup.
But then the trailer was pretty buff too--brand new and painted white. Why was he taking the risk of scratching his new trailer? I would have hitched a second trailer behind the first, an old trailer past its prime...
Good sense makes a man slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11)
Taylor and I have been watching the World Cup together, but I missed the final match between France and Italy. The next day Taylor gave me an ahem blow-by-blow and I asked him to write up a post for the blog. Here 'tis:
Although many of you probably did not even know that it was going on, the World Cup in Germany this year has been filled with many surprises. The drama included everything from first-time participant Ghana defeating power-house Czech Republic 2-0, to Trinidad and Tobago's coach quitting the night before their first game, then returning the following day.
On July 9th, the final game was fought between France and Italy. The French team's captain was superstar Zinedine Zidane, well known for his ball-handling skills and leadership. He is easily the best French soccer player ever and had led France to the 1998 World Cup title.
Although he's nearly thirty-five now, and announced before this World Cup that he would retire as soon as it ended, he's still an amazing player. After scoring on a penalty kick by audaciously chipping it into the top netting just seven minutes into the game, it looked like all was going well for Zidane and his French mates.
However, just 10 minutes later Italy struck with a header that evened the score at 1-1. After 80 more minutes of play the game was still tied, resulting in two fifteen minute overtime periods (not sudden death). In the second overtime Zidane's career would come to an astonishing end.
After exchanging some words with an Italian player, he turned around and viciously head-butted him in the chest resulting in Zidane receiving a red card and being ejected. This meant his team had to play a man down and Zidane himself had to leave the field for the locker room.
This football great ended his career in front of over a billion people in a shameful way and was unable even to come out after the game to receive his second place medal. As proof of his new legacy, his Wikipedia entry already includes a video and pictures of this incident.
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. (Proverbs 16:32)
by David and Tim Bayly on September 13, 2006 - 1:44pm
For years I've been asking why the entire country has to live with the EPA's noise pollution standards, but the guys riding Harleys don't? Everything else on the road purrs now, while Harley's continue to burp and belch and clink and rattle. You can be trucking down the road, even next to an eighteen wheeler on an interstate, and carry on a conversation with the others in your car. But when a Harley comes along the talk stops until you pass him or he passes you. His pipes violate every noise pollution ordinance in the country, but what--he gets a pass because he's driving a Harley slapped together in the good old US of A? All the foreign brands have to toe the line. No straight pipes blasting explosions from their rear for BMWs, Hondas, Yamahas, Ducatis, or Moto Guzzis.
So no, I don't admire Harleys or the poseurs who ride them--although I might consider making an exception for Chuck and Luci Swindoll.
If you've read this far, you might as well go all the way and check out this article titled, "Why a Harley Davidson Isn't a Real American Motorcycle." But watch out--it uses Lutherian language that will be offensive to many. Here's an excerpt selected by Jeff Moore to get you started:
I think I've finally figured out just *WHY* Harley Davidson motorcycles are so popular... Harley Davidson isn't a motorcycle company, it is a cult religion. You don't ride a Harley Davidson so much as you worship it. You and every other little acolyte. A Harley Davidson is a rolling altar to mediocrity, you bend your knees and you pray to a pagan idol of chrome and leather for the pitiful life that you glean from it. That is the only way that I can see why so many people are so clueless when it comes to motorcycles. They can't stand on their own, they aren't tough enough to be individuals, so they have to reinforce their own self image with artificial constructs. Joseph Campbell would have a field day with the average Harley owner, I think that Harley Davidson is another of the 'masks of God' that Campbell once talked about so richly, or one of the supposed nine thousand names for God.
Harley Davidson. It's not a motorcycle company. It is a pagan cult religion...
PS: If the stringed instrument in my title is giving you a facial tic, note the quote marks. Then search the article and you'll find that same instrument.
by David and Tim Bayly on December 18, 2006 - 12:50pm
Two articles in the December 14th USA Today titled "Faith's purchasing power" and "Christian groups spar over video game" will contribute to mainstream America's understanding of followers of Jesus Christ. Here, from the sidebar to "Faith's purchasing power," is USA Today's description of one of the products we Christians crave:
Prayer Circle Friends $19.99: A Christian spin on the Build-A-Bear toy idea. Kids create a stuffed lamb, bear or dog and add a prayer audio chip ($7.99) they record themselves. Along with a prayer journal, "it's a great tool for parents who want to teach their children how to pray and why they should pray every day," says Cliff Bartow [president of Grand Rapids-based (and Zondervan nee Harper-Collins nee NewsCorp nee Rupert Murdoch-owned) Family Christian Stores].
by David and Tim Bayly on December 27, 2006 - 7:02pm
Keeping in step with a many-year Taylor Christmas tradition, our clan went bowling this evening at the Brunswick bowling alley at the corner of Gary Avenue and Route 64, just outside the Wheaton city limits. Since there were about thirty-five of us, we had to wait half an hour for the leagues to finish before lanes opened up, so we all sat down to wait.
For some reason, one of the uncles had a Scrabble set under his arm. He pulled it out and four of the aunts and uncles passed the time playing Scrabble. Scrabble and bowling?
by David and Tim Bayly on January 2, 2007 - 5:48am
Late-breaking news from our killjoy department: Fox Sports now wants you to pay $2.99 to watch the game again, so any links that aren't working can be filled in by going to the next to last link where all the highlights should still be available.
Note: Of all the things we're thankful for in 2006 (and there are very many), one of the best is the one year furlough two CGS missionary families are spending here in the US, the David and Terri Wegener and the Grant and Deb Olson families. The Olsons lived here in Bloomington until just before Christmas, and now are down in Florida. The Wegeners are here in Bloomington all year, close to David's parents, Jonathan and Sally, and David's brother, Tim, who is an elder at CGS and whose wife, Anne, has a blog well worth reading.
Last night, our youngest son, Taylor, spent the evening with David and Terri's son, John. They were playing one of our family's favorite games, Dutch Blitz, while watching the Boise State/Oklahoma game. If you can believe it, David sent the boys to bed and they missed ...well, I'll let David tell you what they missed. Here's his report sent by E-mail first thing this morning, with video highlights from YouTube.
I made Taylor and the kids go to bed at 11:30 and now your son and John are going to kill me. They were playing Dutch Blitz and watching the Boise State-Oklahoma game and it turned into a barn-burner, almost like the Plano East game on YouTube. [One of the best football videos I've (Tim) ever seen, but the language is bad at one point.] It was boring when they went to bed: 28-17 Boise State winning, but then Oklahoma got a field goal, so 28-20. That's when they went to bed. Then Oklahoma scored with time running out; now it's 28-26 and they go for a two-point conversion to tie. The first attempt ended with a penalty against Boise State so they get to try again. The next attempt was another penalty, this time against Oklahoma and somehow they get to try again, but now from farther out. This time Oklahoma makes it, so now it's tied 28-28.
Still almost two minutes left to go and Boise State's fifth year senior quarterback goes to work from around his own 20 yard line. On one of the first plays, he and his receiver get mixed up on what route was to be run. The quarterback thinks the receiver is doing an out to the sideline, but the receiver heads down field. The defender intercepts the pass and runs it back 30 yards for a touchdown; Oklahoma kicks it and now leads 35-28. The star quarterback is now the goat.
The papers this morning say that ten teammates came up to him and told him, there's still a lot of time left, you can do it...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 28, 2007 - 5:58pm
Our automotive correspondent, Ben Crum, writes: This year's Detroit Auto Show featured an exhibit of two cars recently released by China's fledgling automotive manufacturer, Changfeng Motor Company, Ltd.
If there's one thing I know about Americans, it's that they're in the market for SUVs. (If you're not American, SUV stands for "Get out of my way--I'm an American.") Like most of you comrades, there are very particular attributes that attract you to the specific SUV that you will inevitably buy. You may not know this, but China is hoping to cash in on the west's SUV craze--and from the glossy brochure they had available in their exhibit, it seems like they have a pretty firm grasp on what SUV-buying Americans are looking for. So here are a few pictures of Changfeng's brochures.
Well, that goes without saying. I mean, why would I want a vehicle that would ever disappoint me?
The New Yorker had a review of a band named Arcade Fire several weeks ago. Their weird high energy craziness reminds me of a band from the late 70s named Television--the band David Byrne and the Talking Heads wanted to be.
My son Nathan and I just listened to several Arcade Fire songs followed by several YouTube videos of live sets. Nate's decided the band is made up of musicians like Andrew Dionne who got tired of making snap-crackle-pop-bang classical music and switched to rock. For a taste of their music check out this video.
And if you really want to catch them in their glory, check out the drummer/tambourinist in this video. Unprompted, Nate echoed Tim Varner's comment when he first showed me the video: "He looks just the kid in Napoleon Dynamite." (Finally, ignore David Bowie. Nate took one look at him and said, "He looks like he's had too much Botox.")
The list of comments on the left margin with the comment by David at the top is inaccurate. In fact, there have been eight or so comments posted since David,'s but they're simply not registering on that comment list, nor are these more recent comments registering in the number of comments listed under each post.
So, for instance, under "What is feminism," the number of comments given on the main page under the post is 25, but click into the post itself and you'll find more.
So, for now, until the blog is working again, please actually look at the individual posts to see whether there are new comments. Thanks.
I was thinking about the category "Throw the radio in the bathtub" we apply to off-topic posts and it struck me that, given our recent difficulties with posts and comments, some may think it a general expression of unhappiness.
Not at all. It's a reference to one of the funniest scenes in American fiction.
There are funny books (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court), there are routinely funny writers (P.G. Wodehouse), and there are insanely funny scenes. Among the funniest scenes in English fiction are the stories in James Thurber's My Life and Hard Times--especially "The Day the Bed Fell." Nothing beats an insanely funny scene. Sometimes they're by funny authors. More often, they're by great authors in the midst of mordant observations of human character. My choice for the funniest scene in recent English literature is this of the upended Toad sitting by his ruined caravan at the side of the road...
The Toad never answered a word, or budged from his seat in the road; so they went to see what was the matter with him. They found him in a sort of a trance, a happy smile on his face, his eyes still fixed on the dusty wake of their destroyer. At intervals he was still heard to murmur `Poop-poop!'
The Rat shook him by the shoulder. `Are you coming to help us, Toad?' he demanded sternly.
`Glorious, stirring sight!' murmured Toad, never offering to move. `The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here to-day -- in next week to-morrow! Vil-lages skipped, towns and cities jumped -- always somebody else's horizon! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!'
`O stop being an ass, Toad!' cried the Mole despairingly.
Growing up, my mother's bird feeders attracted every kind of squirrel and bird, but never bluebirds. Even putting up a bluebird house didn't do the trick--they remained elusive. So my life has been a quest for bluebirds. Bluebirds come only slightly lower than my wife, daughter-in-law, daughters, and grandsons on the scale of the wonders of God's creation. Then yesterday, while David was watching Chris VanderGoot tag muskies, Mary Lee and I were sitting at our dining room table, talking, when this bluebird landed on our suet feeder! My life is complete.
Speaking of Vanderbilt's Divinity School (see Craig's comments near the end of this page), son Joseph is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt and he used to take meals in the clubby Divinity School cafeteria. He comments:
(I'm reminded) of something I heard from a professor in the Divinity School. Anything can be made into an idol--even the Bible or Jesus. They use this to seem somewhat conservative by being willing to attack idols. But the truth is revealed when they refuse to attack the idols of our culture, and instead attack the truth of God's word.
Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:53 pm From the Disassociated Press NEW YORK --- American composer Elliott Carter, an exemplar of the atonalist style of modernism and according to admirers the greatest living practitioner of his craft, apologized to music lovers around the world today for what he called "a half century of wasted time."
"What was I thinking?" the venerable Mr. Carter, 99, said at his home in Manhattan. "Nobody likes this stuff. Why have I wasted my life?" Carter said he "went wrong" back in the 1940s and spent the next 60 years pursuing the musical dead-end of atonality. In the past seven decades, he has produced five string quartets...
Some authors grow on you, others wear on you. I was reading a top-ten list of books on sanctification moments ago and I realized that among the ten were several authors I'm no longer willing to read. So, in a rather different vein, here are ten authors I can no longer bear to read....
Leo Tolstoy. Several years ago Tim's and my mother finished reading Anna Karenina. She'd never read it before, so I asked her opinion. "It was beautiful," she said, "but evil. He made evil so attractive that you were cheering Anna's adultery at the end." Others I've told this story to dislike Mud's assessment, I agree with Mud.
Knut Hamsun. I loved this Norwegian author (Pan, Mysteries, Hunger) in my teens and early 20s. Now the thought of him curdles my blood. Florid emotion run amok.
A.W. Pink. He was grimly palatable until I learned of his failure to attend church for decades. Now I line gerbil cages with pages from his books. (Just joking about the gerbils, dead serious about the rest.)
Thomas Hardy. Though I liked the name Tess enough to name my daughter Tessa, my affection is reserved for the name these days, not the book or the author. I hope my children never turn a single page of his drivel. If you don't understand, don't bother reading Hardy to see what you're missing. Simply read the recent New Yorker profile of Hardy. A more godless and depraved Victorian would be hard to find.
Tom Clancy. Talk about a one-hit wonder. The Hunt for Red October was fun, the rest were verbose, jingoistic, immoral, over-the-top, macho cornballs.
C.S. Lewis. Too much lionizing by the Evangelical and Reformed world for me to be able to enjoy him any more. No denying his brilliance or wisdom, I'm simply tired of the marketing and Anglophilia of it all.
Patrick O'Brian. Not only did his books grow increasingly mannered as his fame increased, devolving into plotless collections of character twitches and tics, the Guardian/Observer revealed him to be the worst sort of father at his death.
Hunter S. Thompson. I loved his books when I was young and had no fear of God. But what a tragic man he always was. I still laugh at memories from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but I'd never read anything by Thompson again.
Scott Foresman. Yes, I know it's not the name of an author. It's a publisher, the textbook company that published the Dick and Jane reading books of baby-boomer childhoods. The idea of such stupid, plotless, senseless, vapid writing employed to teach children to read is beyond credibility, except it really happened. No wonder America is a television nation....
Incredible. (Watch the WHOLE video or you'll miss the point.)
Even more incredibly, many Christians willingly deliver their young to the lions who seek their souls by failing to surround them with the Word and surrendering to worldliness: uncontrolled, unmonitored television, schooling, videos, games, friendships....