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Peter Leithart on Scripture

Posted by Remy on May 18, 2012

“Treating Scripture as a directory of moral lessons or compendium of moral rules assumes a constricted view of moral practice and reasoning. We don’t pursue virtue simply by applying general principles to particular situations, and true morality is never simply obedience to commandments. Practical morality requires the ability to assess situations accurately, memory of our own past patterns of action and of others’ inspiring examples, and enough moral imagination to see how a potential tragedy might become the birthplace of unforeseen comedy.”

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Father Hunger : Douglas Wilson

Posted by Remy on May 3, 2012

With a deft theological hand Douglas Wilson weaves fatherhood and atheism into a digressive encomium of love in a variety of roles, God to man, husband to wife, father to child. The breadth of topics covered by Wilson is impressive, everything from abortion to capitalism, to gender roles; all written in the bombastic style that wins him both friends and enemies. Rigorously pastoral, insightful and full of talking points, I found myself surprised and delighted and even at times confused and squinty-eyed, which are things I most find valuable in a book like this.

I see little doubt that this is one of the great challenges of the future and Father Hunger is an excellent starting point in moving forward.

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Tyndale by David Teems

Posted by Remy on January 21, 2012

Tyndale is one of the most influential writers of English after the man who was Shakespeare and among the most creative, counted among Chaucer and Joyce. The book, Tyndale: the Man Who Gave God an English Voice by David Teems (Thomas Nelson, 2012), is at its best discussing the contributions and innovations of Tyndale the translator, but is marred by dischronous and ill-fitted metaphors that set the stage. Comparing the church at the time to radical Islam, its actions to Jihad, and referring to the orange and red “threat level” do a great disservice to the period; as is calling it a “humorless age”. So while the bulk of the book does not trade on such currency, it makes for an unfortunate first impression.

The glories of the book pay tribute to Tyndale’s style and panache for turning a phrase: Be not weary in well doing, Seek and ye shall find, Fight the good fight. The price of the book is well worth it for the list of words the English language owes to William Tyndale: atonement, churlishness, brotherliness, particolourd, fatling and on and on. His economy put us in such debt that it can never be paid, but in honoring the man who coined them.

 

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Bad Christian Art : Tony Woodlief

Posted by Remy on June 6, 2011

“I’m convinced that bad art derives, like bad literary theory, from bad theology. To know God falsely is to write and paint and sculpt and cook and dance Him falsely. Perhaps it’s not poor artistic skill that yields bad Christian art, in other words, but poor Christianity.”

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On Knowledge and Desire

Posted by Remy on March 19, 2011

“We cannot know God without knowing self, cannot know self without knowing God, and cannot know either without encountering God in His good creation.”

“We need to recognize that any renunciation, any check on or discipline of desire, is for the sake of a more complete satisfaction of desire. Suppression of desire can only pervert desire. Desire is “disciplined” by desire, desire for things now channeled by overwhelming desire for better things later.”

-PJ Leithart

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On Religion : Camille Paglia

Posted by Remy on February 11, 2011

“I was recently flicking my car radio dial and heard an affected British voice tinkling out on NPR. I assumed it was some fussy, gossipy opera expert fresh from London. To my astonishment, it was Richard Dawkins, the thrice-married emperor of contemporary atheists. I had never heard him speak, so it was a revelation. On science, Dawkins was spot on — lively and nimble. But on religion, his voice went “Psycho” weird (yes, Alfred Hitchcock) — as if he was channeling some old woman with whom he was in love-hate combat. I have no idea what ancient private dramas bubble beneath the surface there. As an atheist who respects and studies religion, I believe it is fair to ask what drives obsessive denigrators of religion. Neither extreme rationalism nor elite cynicism are adequate substitutes for faith, which fulfills a basic human need — which is why religion will continue to thrive in our war-torn world.”

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Les Murray : Kingdom of God : Poetry

Posted by Remy on December 30, 2010

“The Kingdom of God, which is not solely of this world, is slowly coming closer to being more clearly figured in this world … we who are not saints are caught up, not by God but by the logic of our choosing to delay sainthood, in a combat we keep thinking is new (or even Modern) because of the novel shapes and pressures it keeps presenting, a physiognomic struggle between those who somehow accept grace and those who bear the distorting strain of trying to block it off, to act without it or against it. This, I think, rather than the usual superficial divisions between Right and Left, Black and White, religious and irreligious etc, is where the real lines are drawn … But when I come to meditate on topics such as grace, I don’t finally trust myself to talk about them in prose. For the important stuff, I need the help of my own medium of poetry, which can say more things”.

– Les A. Murray, A Working Forest: Selected Prose

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Gods that Christians don’t Believe In/ Gods that Athiests don’t Believe In

Posted by Remy on November 7, 2010

The first athiests were Christians

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Hauerwas on British and American Atheists

Posted by Remy on October 19, 2010

“Americans do not have to believe in God, because they believe that it is a good thing simply to believe: all they need is a general belief in belief. That is why we have never been able to produce interesting atheists in the US. The god most Americans say they believe in is not interesting enough to deny, because it is only the god that has given them a country that ensures that they have the right to choose to believe in the god of their choosing, Accordingly, the only kind of atheism that counts in the US is that which calls into question the proposition that everyone has a right to life, liberty, and happiness.”

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Ishmael on Religion

Posted by Remy on May 1, 2010

“I say, we good Presbyterian Christians should be charitable in these things, and not fancy ourselves so vastly superior to other mortals, pagans and what not, because of their half-crazy conceits on these subjects. There was Queequeg, now, certainly entertaining the most absurd notions about Yojo and his Ramadan;- but what of that? Queequeg thought he knew what he was about, I suppose; he seemed to be content; and there let him rest. All our arguing with him would not avail; let him be, I say: and Heaven have mercy on us all- Presbyterians and Pagans alike- for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.”

-from Moby Dick

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