Mere Christianity is Baxter’s phrase, and it is a Protestant concept. A Protestant can adopt it without giving away the store, but a Roman Catholic cannot adopt it without giving away the store. Now I am fine with asking Catholics to give away the store, but am not so fine with us being unaware of the fact that this is what we are in fact asking them to do.


Doug Wilson against Homeschooling

Or at least the digital kind? Well, maybe not exactly, but he still thinks a classroom is best, if it’s a good classroom.

Myself, I’m inclined to think that classroom education is the sort of thing you should break into gently, and not really experience full-bore until college, which college should start around fourteen.


Some links:

* The Curse of Motivational Speaking, which curse being that it doesn’t actually change anybody, and prevents them from listening to the stuff that does.
* Viral video leads to university president resignation. Apparently, he was allergic to the words “free college.”
* Civilization
* Immigration, and Red-headed property.
* Compulsory voting?
* Divorced from God? Doug Wilson says, “Prove it!”
* Matt Waymeyer on the continuing spiritual hope of Israel. One could wish he would write with the same biblical perception and clarity on the subject of continuing function of spiritual gifts.
* Personals. The author at Outer Life shares a few traits with me, including a poor ability to modify reality without irony.

From Pseudo-Polymath:

* German court declares circumcision illegal. Two views, sympathetic, and unsympathetic (to the circumcision party, that is).
* When I was at OCS, my platoon sergeant thought it would be funny to give the little guy a 240B machine gun. I didn’t think it was all that funny. In fact, I was tempted to complain. Now, I’m just glad he didn’t make me carry this.
* Everybody’s got an Economic Crush, don’t they? Currently, I’m geeking out on Adam Smith.
* A bird of prey gets goosed.
*Okay, maybe weapons safety is an oxymoron after all.
* New research indicates that the zombie apocalypse is rabies.
* Gospel: the only answer for pornography. My experience was that pornography was a replacement, not for sex, but for worship.

Enough for now?

Four Kinds of Idolatry

Four Kinds of Idolatry.

This is good, as far as it goes. But I wish he’d address the really nitty-gritty areas:

  1. What difference, if any, does the incarnation have on the law against images? (That’s the Orthodox question.)
  2. What about using images in church as teaching tools? (That’s the Roman Catholic question.)
  3. What about the ark of the covenant, and other uses of images in the tabernacle and temple? (That’s my question.) Aaron’s bull was idolatry, but the cherubim were legit worship. What’s the difference? All the tribes of Israel gathered around the tabernacle in the wilderness, with a flag for each group, hense the “lion of the tribe of Judah.” Was that worship? What about the candle stands in the tabernacle? They were made to look like flowers. Why isn’t that idolatry? What about the doves and pomegranites around the alcoves in Solomon’s Temple? What about the angels in Solomon’s temple, whose wings spanned the building, so that they touched in the middle and touched each wall? Why isn’t that idolatry? Let’s ask some interesting questions.

With Whoops and Happy Yells

With Whoops and Happy Yells.

This is a thorough rebuttle.

Frankly, I’m getting tired of the Orthodox community responding to any criticism of their theology by saying that Protestants are ignorant, don’t understand, haven’t done their research, etc. It’s as though modern liberalism finds its ancient heritage in the Orthodox church. They can’t seem to tolerate the thought that thinking Christians can understand their theology and just call it wrong.

Book Reviews

I’ve decided for the time being to pretend that any book which fails to keep my attention to the end is therefore a bad book, and not worth reading. This has greatly sped up the process, but will likely have an adverse effect on my allowance: I’ve finished two books in 3 days.

  1. The first book was I Am Not a Serial Killer, by Dan Wells. The genre is horror, a bit like Silence of the Lambs for Young Adult, which is something I’d really never dabbled in before. But Dan Wells is one of the Writing Excuses Podcast hosts, and I’d gotten a friendly feeling toward him, so I thought I’d give his books a try. It was surprisingly good.

    I won’t go too far into a synopsis of the story. To describe much of it is to give it away. John Cleaver is 15 when he is diagnosed with sociopathy. He doesn’t recognize or process emotions properly, which causes him to tend toward devaluing the lives of other people. He’s plagued by thoughts that he may become a serial killer. Instead of giving himself over to this, he fights it, and in the process stops an actual serial killer. Sort of.

    There was a generally dark tone to the whole story, for obvious reasons. But apparently, the horror genre lends itself very well to intensely moral storytelling (think Frankenstein and Dracula) without drifting into purple preachiness (think Uncle Tom’s Cabin). A couple of parts in the book actually drew tears.

  2. The second book was God Is: How Christianity Explains Everything, by Doug Wilson. This is his short response to Christopher Hitchens’ anti-Christianity book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. It was short and fun. I recommend it for anybody who enjoys a good smackdown, or for anybody who actually had their faith shaken or hackles raised by Hitchens’ book.