Back Issues

Volume 17, Issue 1: Sharpening Iron

From Us:

We would be postmodern, if we could only get the Leotard to fit. We would embrace the Permanent Possibility of Misconception, except it took us too long to find him, and when we did, he was picking his nose.

The truth is, the big sign outside the community center said, "Postmodern Emerging Church: All Welcome." But they didn't mean it. We couldn't even make it up the sidewalk. The guys out front remembered us from T-ball. And they saw the squirt guns.
Nobody wants to keep score in T-ball. And the guidance official behind the plate let some of the kids round the bases backward, or stay on base when they insisted that out was a narrow concept of being. So we did things. Things our mother made us say sorry for. But we didn't mean it. We still don't. Now they're accusing us of not taking the Leotard seriously, and we're not sure how they guessed.


From You:

Dear Editor,
We are in the process of enjoying the most recent issue of C/A. Being from Wisconsin we were very intrigued by the title and, as always, we are not disappointed. Still, we felt that in order for you and your staff to truly appreciate the "finer things" from our state we should supply you with a little taste. This is Colby Cheese, made in Colby, WI . . . yesterday.

Thank you for all you have done for our family.

Russel and LouAnn Lang
Colby, WI

Anselm House staff replies: Amen.

Dear Editor,
We were so happy to read an article by Gordon Wilson in the most recent issue. We are huge Gordon Wilson fans and hope to see more of his scientific writings in the future.

I must say that we were also impressed how you could make an entire issue dedicated to cheese so interesting and thought-provoking.
We admire and appreciate your creative way of punching us in the throat.

Eric and Heather Wright
F'burg, VA

Dear Editor,
I knew it was coming—the attack on the spiritually irrelevant, trite, cutesy, and of course heretical book, The Purpose-Driven Life. Unfortunately, I had already read the book and was greatly encouraged by it. In the past I have waded through Rushdooney's two volumes on God's law, Bahnsen's Theonomy and Christian Ethics, and the like, so I can read big words and long sentences and be edified. Yet I found myself refreshed and greatly edified by reading succinct phrases that immediately slapped me in the spiritual cheek with their truth and necessity of living by what was said, such as, "There are no shortcuts to maturity; Service starts in your mind; It's not about you, it's about God." Do I not know these things? Of course I do! But I have seen that God's people benefit from all levels of instruction, just as Christians are encouraged by all styles of music (another subject—don't get me started). In my opinion, if every Christian in America read PDL, God's kingdom would be advanced. That would happen if they read Theonomy too,
but given the present reading level and attention span and lack of Puritan ability to study for hours and write incomprehensible poems, PDL may be more accessible at this moment in history.

Maybe it's just me, but I wonder how I missed that the point of the book was "all about me" and self-actualization, when I came away from it realizing that I need to get back to serving others with a cheerful heart in order to glorify God? My point is: Don't slam your allies, even if they don't talk at your level (Mk. 9:40). They may be doing some good. Not everyone can read C/A and be edified; some people read PDL and "get it" but they might miss the message that cheese symbolizes victory (Did I get that right?). Just to show that I'm still mostly on your side, I would have told the mom to let her young daughter take the now-famous coyote issue of your magazine to bed with her.

Vicki Tuggy
Tustin, CA

Editor's reply: We hate being predictable, and appreciate your criticism. While we don't believe we've over-criticised the book, we are also aware that God can use even our worst drivel in people's lives. See PDL's role in bringing in the Atlanta shooter. (Also see how that publicity is exploited.)

Dear Editor,
Nathan Wilson, your articles are not in the slightest boring. An egg just isn't an egg without cheese.

Rachel Mayer
Stockbridge, MI

Dear Editor,
I came accross an article of yours by Douglas Jones, "Mormon Church Closing Doors in Seattle." [ C/A ,15.2] I don't know anything about what you guys do but thought that it might be useful to you to know that the article had no fact in it. You might want to recheck your sources. You quote Mr. Conger in it quite frequently. I just got off the phone with him and he is unaware of the things that you printed. I am sorry if I am pulling a "Sean Penn" and just don't get it. If this information doesn't help you, then please disregard, and hooray for free speech!

Seattle, WA

Dear Editor,
I utterly devoured the issue on cheese, and it was delightfully delicious. In case anyone is still uncertain, cheese does have purpose. Starting with a living food (milk) it is transformed through the dying process (fermentation) into something with a savor that not only nourishes, but delights, as well. As such, cheese is the very picture of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; and I say - God bless it.

Thomas Hammett
US Forces, Italy

Dear Editor,
Though we are charter subscribers, and have always enjoyed and benefitted from C/A, you really lost us with the Cheese issue. The very thought of reading an entire journal based on cheese was depressing, and we like cheese just as much as the next guy. What kind of a nerd, besides Wallace, reads an entire journal about cheese? The issue reminded us of modern art: created just so that the "artist" can feel superior to those who don't get it or who don't want to get it. You can do better.

Kathleen and Jim Manusco
Niskayuna, NY

Editor's reply: Sorry. We'll rivet you with this one. Hopefully.

Dear Editor,
. . . Could you please help me. I do not get the cheese thing at all. I admit to being on the prosaic side of life but I can usually make connections with a little help. I hope you won't go to the "If you don't understand there's no point in telling you," strategy. It won't help. In any case I am for your success. Anyone who is hated as much as you are has something of value to say concerning the Gospel. Thank you.

John Hicks
Tacoma, WA

Editor's reply:There may be a number of particular cheese questions here (especially about Jones' Thema), but we'll stick to a general question, which is, "why devote an entire issue to cheese when western civilization continues to fall apart?" Answering the general question may (possibly) help to put any particular questions in perspective. The salvation of our world began in earnest when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Because of the Incarnation, we feel called to develop a love for particular things, exulting in them as part of the old creation, and for their inclusion in the new creation. So at least once a year we try to pick something we have all been around our entire lives, but have probably not really noticed. And when I say noticed, I mean noticed. We have done this with wood, work, and now with cheese. In the future we fully intend to do the same with weather, weather permitting. In a book called
Tremendous Trifles, which, come to think of it, is a book a lot like our cheese issue, Chesterton observed, "The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder."

Dear Editor,
There is, in fact, a socially acceptable way to eat plain melted cheese ["Flotsam," C/A, 16/5]. It's called a chupaqueso. You need a teflon skillet, a teflon spatula, and, preferablly, sharp cheddar, fresh parmesan, and some Monterey Jack. You start by grating about half a cup each of cheddar and jack, then heat the skillet and spread the cheddar evenly around in the pan. You should have it spread out in a circle thin enough that some pan shows through a little bit in some places. The cheese will, of course, melt and eventually start toasting, so you have melted cheddar on top of crusty toasted stuff. At this point, start lifting around the edges with the spatula, until you reach a point at which you can flip the cheese thing over. Toast that side for a few moments, and then flip it again so the orignal side is down. Now quickly add the Jack and a little bit of parmesan into the center, and then fold the shell around it. For extra crunchy goodness, add cooked bacon bits with the parmesan and Jack.

It's called a chupaqueso either because you can suck (chupa) the cheese (queso) out of the middle as you crunch away, or because this cheese (queso) thing you made sucks (chupa).

Sierra San Pedro

Nathan Wilson replies: I would like to apologize to any I may have mislead, and to my parents, whom I have embarrassed. I will never again be unaware of the chupaqueso.

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