Back Issues

Volume 14, Issue 1: Sharpening Iron

From Us:

Here we go again. Another day, another innocent tromp out to the mailbox and the discovery that we are still alive and well and mailing people things. Things like this issue on Metaphor, or the upcoming issues discussing Fantasy and the meaning of Wood. Yes, we yet kick, and have no intention of stopping. Even worse, we add to our number. Jared Miller, Matt Whitling, and Woelke Leithart are now spilling ink within our pages. Jared is scuba certified to fifteen feet, Matt has a son named Cotton and while Woelke's name is Woelke, and that should be good enough for any man, it turns out that he, in his greedy way, is also named Otto. You will find our new friends' contributions under the banners of of Tohu, Virga, and Ex Libris respectively. Let us know if they displease you and we may promote them, so take care.


From You:

Dear Editors,
Just when I think you've yanked my chain for the last time . . . that I will no more scan the pages of C/A and risk being embarrassed to be reformed, that I will no longer debate how men who like such good beer can like such bad eschatology, that I will finally acknowledge that only a cult could be headquartered in a place called Moscow, Idaho. . . then you make me like you again.

And now for an overly paranthetical paragraph that addresses that point. I went back to catch the postmodern issue from last fall (maybe?), and hokey-pete-apalooza, that was good action. Thank you for acknowledging Kit Smart (whom I read first in a college 18th century lit course taught by a professor who thought the Journals of John Wesley were relevant to everything) and The Frogs. . . . I can think of no other publication (unless the conversations of my friends over pizza were published unwittingly) that would simultaneously acknowledge both. Thank you. And thank you again.
I've often wondered why Reformed Christians who have gone back far enough to fall in love with George Herbert or John Milton haven't stumbled on nutty old Christopher Smart, and I'm glad that you have pointed him out to Reformed passers-by. As for The Frogs, trying to pass off your luggage for a descent to the underworld on a dead guy in his own funeral is just doggone funny, and how, and I think all Reformed people need a dose of doggone funniness. In a related story, I wish more people in my Sunday school classes would read the play, so I could make allusions without all the painful blank stares (I almost got removed from the rotation for talking about Plutarch—a little Demosthenes and I think I would come under discipline—I don't even want to think about what happens if I mention Greek comedy). To bring it back to the original point, simply talking about these two items bought you a philosophical indulgence in my mind to continue reading your sestannual besplattering of the world with sour dregs from the winecup of Reformed truth.
So keep it up then. I will continue to think of you as wacky in a Gilligans-of-the-Reformed-Island sort of way instead of thinking of you as wacky in a other-hobbies-of-a-serial-killer-sort of way. Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you, and thanks again,

John Calvin Blessing
Greenville, SC

Dear Editors,
Since I rarely find myself in such agreement with your magazine, I had to write! Thank you for your issue on C.S. Lewis; the man deserves more credit than is usually given. Now if only your other issues would embrace the "loveliness of courtesy and manners" D. Wilson supposedly learned from Narnia, I might enjoy reading them as much as this one. . .

Kate Timmer
Grand Rapids, MI

Dear Editors,
Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Just Love It)
Daddy Dewdrop

Last night I had a crazy dream `'bout a chick in a black bikini, ugh!/ Ah, she looked so good, she couldn't be real/ She must be a magic genie!/ But she disappeared around the corner/ All I saw were three doors and the top of her bikini/ I made it through the first door, there was a party goin' on/ I asked about the chick but what they said was freaky. . ./ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't ya just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't you just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't ya just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom-boom-boom/ I found the bottom part behind the second door/ Which took me to Africa, I presume/ This really far-out cat was screamin' half-crazy/"Whomp-bobba-looba ba-lomp-bam-boom"/ I said, "Hey man, cut that jive and tell me where the chick went"/ But he looked at me, as spaced as could be/ And said these words but I wonder what he meant. . ./ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't ya just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't you just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't ya just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom-boom-boom/ Ah, don't ya just love it/ Um hmm, don't ya just love it Don't ya love it, don't ya love it/ Oh yeah, don't ya love it/ Don't ya just love it now/ I opened the third door and there she was/ And she whispered so sexy and low Ooo!/ I tried to do the same and impress her with my style/ But why I said this, I'll never know.../ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't ya just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't you just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't ya just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom-boom-boom/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't ya just love it/ Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't you just love it {fade}

Near Chicago, IL

Doug Wilson replies: When I used the title `Boom Chicka Boom' for my Meander column in 13/1 I was plundering the Egyptians. They had a little gold, I wanted it. Don'tcha just love it?

Dear Editors,
Thank you for including a fiction department in C/A. I would like to respectfully submit (as my nasty comment) to Mr. Nathan Wilson the suggestion that he shed the vestiges of postmodernism in his creative writing. My opinion is that poetry is the proper context for vague and ephemeral concepts, while prose is for stories. Readers are surfeited with cryptic style at the hands of the New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly. It would be so refreshing to read straight-up, unashamed stories for a change, especially from a writer with straight-up, unashamed theology.

Chelsea Batten
San Diego, CA

Dear Editors,
This is in response to Doug Jones' Incarnatus column. I've found your exploration here and elsewhere of the limits of pure logic and the relationship between poetic and rational knowledge very illuminating—that is, when I can follow your arguments, which, given my own poor background in formal logic, is about half the time. I find myself agreeing most of the time—or at least wanting to agree. If we're thinking biblically, then why, for instance, should an appeal to emotion be automatically regarded as fallacious reasoning? This certainly didn't seem to be a concern of Nathan's when he confronted David with the truth of his situation, and there are many such examples of this sort of problem, as you point out. But on the other hand, when it is suggested that the law of noncontradiction might not apply to things nonphysical, I start to get nervous: don't the carefully worded Definition of Chalcedon and Athanasian Creed assume that the law of noncontradiction applies to the Godhead as well? If this assumption is tossed out the window, what then? You may well be right, but the implications might prove to be bitter to the belly.

Abe Goolsby
Nashville, TN

Dear Editors,
The "Incarnatus" articles are Solomonic and full of gold. That said, "Knowing is Tracing" is the Titus Andronicus of the lot. While it is the case that logical impossibilities can be explained by physical impossibilities, there is something more to logical impossibilities than this. God could not cause me to be elect, and yet at the same time not elect; however, God could cause the water at Cana to become wine. This could be resolved by noting, as Lewis did, that Christ's miracles repeat more vividly what God always does through nature. However, this again seems to miss something. Certainly, God could create a world with different laws of physics, and hence different miracles. However, God could not create a world that has no love, justice, or in which Modus Ponens is invalid. The reason that God cannot create a world without love or justice is because they are attributes of God Himself. But this would then imply that logic too is an attribute of God. Clearly it is not lord over God's other attributes, otherwise it would be included in lists of God's attributes in the Bible—logic is either on the same level as, or subordinate to things like love and justice. But still, contrary to Jones' assertions, logic appears to be an attribute of God.

Matthew N. Petersen
Moscow, ID

Doug Jones replies: I thank Mssrs. Goolsby and Petersen for their kind and thoughtful letters on the Incarnatus columns concerning logic. I was sure only three people read that column, but these letters now move the total to five. The worries in each letter seem similar, and the worry seems to be that without Logic solidly entrenched somewhere in reality we are left in cosmic chaos: either Logic or chaos. But my articles tried to make the point that those aren't the only options. Why must we assume that we need Greek Logic in order to preserve objective orderliness? Scripture doesn't invoke Aristotelian necessity. The Trinity supplies all the objective law, necessity, and orderliness we need. The Greeks introduced Logic to give order to wild chaos, but that isn't the Christian universe. And modern Logic wouldn't even solve the worries raised, since it only claims to control the relations between thoughts or propositions alone, not the realities referred to (that's why it's called "symbolic" logic).

Back to top
Back to Table of Contents

Copyright © 2012 Credenda/Agenda. All rights reserved.