Monday, June 04, 2012


One of the (many) problems with divorce is that it gives a kid a choice.

Being a Liberal Doesn't Mean Being Free

GK Chesterton on the paradox of the liberal, "...a freethinker does not mean a man who thinks for himself. It means a man who, having thought for himself, has come to one particular class of conclusions , the material origin of phenomena, the impossibility of miracles, the improbability of personal immortality and so on." Orthodoxy

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eleven Tips for Reading the Bible

Here is a great list of eleven things to remember when reading the Bible, again taken from George Grant, but this time from his blog Eleventary...

1. Remember the one, central story: the whole Bible is about just one thing. The pattern of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration runs throughout the Old and New Testaments.

2. Remember that the Bible is its own best commentary. The Word interprets itself; Scripture explains Scripture.

3. Remember to read individual passages in their context—textual, literary, symbolic, historical, cultural, grammatical, and theological.

4. Remember that all Biblical revelation is intended to reveal. Always look for the most obvious literary sense of a text.

5. Remember that all Scripture is inspired and superintended by the Holy Spirit. So, every little detail matters.

6. Remember that Scripture has only one meaning but multiple applications—so, it is important to distinguish between indicatives and imperatives.

7. Remember that we read translations of the Bible. All languages have strengths, weaknesses, and peculiarities—and moving from Greek and Hebrew to one of our modern languages (such as 21st century American English) will always require some additional scrutiny and study.

8. Remember that we must always interpret experience in light of Scripture and history in light of revelation; not the other way around.

9. Remember that the New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.

10. Remember that “there is nothing new under the sun.” So, beware of innovative or novel interpretations of Scripture. Steer clear of new “discoveries” in Biblical revelation. We have a rich legacy of wisdom passed down to us from throughout church history so we should consult good commentaries whenever possible--and look to the “old paths” more often than not.

11. Remember that we should always read Scripture prayerfully, submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oxford, Fountain of Beauty

From the blog of George Grant, GRANTIAN FLORILEGIUM

Few provincial cities anywhere are more crowded with incident and achievement than the English University city of Oxford. In a short stroll visitors may pass the house where Edmund Halley discovered his comet; the site of Britain's oldest public museum, the Ashmolean; the hall where architect Christopher Wren drew his first plans; the pub where Thomas Hardy scribbled his notes for Jude the Obscure; the track where Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile; the meadow where a promising young mathematician named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson refined The Formulae of Plane Trigonometry, An Elementary Treatise on Determinants and, of course his famous children's trifle called Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Walk down the broad and curving High Street, thought by many to be the most beautiful in England, or through the maze of back lanes that wander among the golden, age-worn college buildings, and visitors may follow in the footsteps of Samuel Johnson, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, Jonathan Swift, John Donne, Roger Bacon, Cardinal Wolsey, Oscar Wilde, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Indira Gandhi, and Margaret Thatcher, to name just a few who have worked and studied here.

The heart of the city is Carfax—from the Latin quadrifurcua,”four-forked”—from which the main streets run to the four points of the compass. This was the center of the walled medieval city—built on the foundations of an early Saxon trading settlement which was located near the ford in the river there.

It was in this remarkable environment on this day in 1921 that the esteemed professor of etymology, J.R.R. Tolkien, began to recount the stories of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, Hobbits of Middle Earth—one of the most remarkable achievements in English literature.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was born in South Africa in 1892. After a brilliant undergraduate career, he became a medieval scholar, philologist, and professor at the university. His scholarly work at concerned Anglo-Saxon and medieval literature.

His depth and breadth of scholarship is most evident in the epic works he created about the fantasy world he called Middle Earth. He wrote The Hobbit in 1937 as a children's book. Its sequel, the trilogy entitled The Lord of the Rings—finally published after much anticipation in 1954 and 1955—included The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King. The work is an imaginative masterpiece that has captured the imagination of generations ever since. It is a profound tale of the conflict between good and evil told against a backdrop of rich cultures, vibrant characters, and stunning prose and poetry.

Tolkien’s close friend and fellow professor, C.S. Lewis, commented that “such a tale, told by such an imaginative mind, could only have been spawned in such a place as Oxford.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chesterton's Wit and Wisdom


Dear Mr. Chesterton,
If a lawyer friend of mine belches at table, does he have no manners, or bad manners?

Dear Confused,
One of the greatest difficulties in any philosophical discussion of manners is the fact that the presence of bad manners and the absence of any manners are treated as identical. We say indifferently of a man of a more or less repulsive social ineptitude either that he has no manners or that he has bad manners. How entirely different these two things are may be tested by the fact that in no other affairs do we treat these phrases as synonymous. There is all the difference in the world
between saying that a man has no wine and saying that he has bad wine. There is all the difference in the world between the comparatively trifling biographical
statement, ‘He has no sons,’ and the really disquieting one, ‘He has bad sons’. If, when we were about to breakfast with a friend, a common acquaintance were to approach us and whisper impressively, ‘You will eat no eggs,’ the expression would amount to
little more than an interesting detail; if he were to whisper, ‘You will eat bad eggs,’ an element of tragedy would at once appear. But the difference between no manners and bad manners is quite as definite and important as the difference between no eggs and bad eggs.

The absence of manners is an unconscious and chaotic thing, the product of vagueness, of monomania, of absence of mind, of ignorance of the world. But the presence of bad
manners is a perfectly solemn, deliberate, and artificial thing, the result of
pride and vainglory, hypocrisy and blindness and hardness of heart. A great mass of human society may thus be simply and satisfactorily divided into two definite sections...uneducated people, that is to say, have no manners, educated people have bad manners.

Your Friend,
G.K. Chesterton

(“On Manners,” The Apostle and the Wild Ducks)
Source: 'Gilbert Magazine,' Volume 14 Number 6-7, May/June 2011.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Consequence of Evolution

"Up to the age of 30 or beyond it, poetry of many kinds . . . gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare.... formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great, delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost any taste for pictures or music.... I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did . . My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive.... The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature." Charles Darwin