Volume 17, Issue 2: Sharpening Iron
It is possible that we have a negative self image. When we think of our self,
we find easy comparisons to creatures like skunks, or slugs, or
cat-consuming cougars. We think of our self as a
burr, an itch, a rash on the soft white flesh of our corner of the secular world.
But maybe we're not. Maybe we're that fair-complexioned knight.
Maybe we have extra-shiny armor and an enormous white horse so bright,
so rippling in its muscularity, so flowy in its mane and tail regions, that it
could be mistaken for a unicorn. Except it doesn't have a horn.
Maybe our sword is made from glass and rainbows and no dragon
skin or zoning code can repel it. The solas are on our shield. Maybe our wife has
a droopy white dress and a saggy bejeweled belt, slung on slender
hips. Maybe her braid hangs to her thighs.
Or maybe not. We're less prearranged. It seems more likely that
we're that creature inside the walls, that creature that once thought it was
a mouse and is now too large to be a normal rat. Maybe we eat the
cheese and spring the trap. Maybe we consume the DeCon and it only makes
us irritable. We eat tunnels in rationalists' show-bread and leave our sign in
the flour. We kill the cat and lay our eggs in its body. If we laid eggs. That
seems more like us. A sort of pest gone wrong. A rodent underestimated, and now
the sheetrock sighs beneath our bulk as we creep through the ceiling at night.
We don't seem like a knight. We seem like an Animal Control
problem. Our city passes resolutions. But a pack of like creatures gathers around us,
and we run down bicyclists in the predawn. Paper-boys go missing.
Someday we might have armor. But our teeth will always be a five on
the Moh's Scale of Hardness. Lace your concrete with glass if you don't want
us chewing through.
Thank you for your continued work smacking me in my evangelical
face. Each issue of C/A is a source of
great encouragement. Keep up the good work.
"Perilous times?" I don't think
so. Our Lord said, "It is finished," and
by His powerpeace. So it is.
Still they are interesting times and made even more so by your humor
and wisdom. It is a rare issue of C/A that doesn't challenge, provoke, and
amuse me. Thanks.
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Eberwein
UPS AND DOWNS
Thanks for your faithfulness. The issue on "God the Dangerous,"
"Ironies of Laughter," and "Trinity"
were wonderful. The "Pauline Take on the New Perspective" was brilliant.
The "Owning the Curse" article
[C/A, 16.2] was so bizarre and wrong on so many points that it was hard
to take seriously. The excellent points made in the article and in the issue as
a whole were swallowed up in the gross exaggerations and strange
conclusions. In your conclusion you said, "we
should invert as many contemporary categories as we can." Your article seemed
to simply be an exercise in this. It wasn't helpful.
I would give arguments for why I voted for a clarification of my
state's constitution on the nature of marriage, and argue that Paul's direction to the Corinthians on dealing with sexual sin was different than the advice you gave. I would also like to say that my father, my pastors and Wilson and Jones have nothing to repent of concerning the
sin of homosexuality and don't need to own this particular curse anymore than
they need to repent of school shootings and own the death penalty curse, but
I'm sure y'all would say I just don't get it; which I happily admit.
CHEESE AND A P.S.
Loved the Cheese. Keep up the good work, men. When my
husband hears me laugh out loud he calls, "reading Credenda again, honey?"
P.S. Rev. Wilson, what do you think of the Reformed Episcopal Church?
Douglas Wilson replies: I think all episcopals should be reformed,
but not all reformed should be episcopal.
GOD THE DANGEROUS
I thought I would pass on my gratitude for the insightful
article "Playing with Knives: God the Dangerous" by Douglas Jones. In my
opinion the theological portrayal was radical by today's standards but
unquestionably consistent with the God of the
Bible. "God the Dangerous" is not likely
a theme that will play well in many evangelical crowds but for this
evangelical it was a faith deepening reflection.
Thank you for the good work.
Ann Arbor, MI
SEND IT ANYWAY
Please continue to send us C/A, though I don't understand all of it.
I grew up around the sense of humor often employed therein but did
not inherit it, as did my brothers. Is it a guy thing? (However, Mrs. Wilson's
articles really speak to me and are very relevant and incisive; I read them first,
and they're worth the price of admission all by themselves.)
Much thanks for your thought-provoking magazine. I enjoy every
issue. Your homosexual issue was especially on target. The best article of the
year was Douglas Jones' "God the Dangerous." I have re-read it numerous
times and keep trying to move it off my nightstand to the C/A files in my bookshelf, but then I find myself reading it again. I had never thought of the differences between Job
and Abraham in that way, nor of God's character in some of the ways
mentioned. The section on tension and the Trinity was quite helpful.
I have the unfortunate quality of a sense of humor on many
matters relating to the present dreadful condition of the Evangelical
movement. For that reason I find C/A a
HE'S A LUTHERAN
Though I disagree with some things you've written of late,
your publication always provokes thought, challenges to obedience, and
encourages this Lutheran believer in the faith.
We noticed that the midsection of your front page on the website
demands, "Send a letter." So we are sending the letter "Q." Since no
one really knows what to do with it, we thought, maybe
you guys can fix it.
We must warn you that this letter is very needy. It will do nothing at
all, except in the presence of a "u."
Our analysis reveals that it is quite monogamous. The word "quail,"
for instance, could easily have begun with "qw." But, no. Q will only join in
a useful diphthong [sic] with u. Other vowels are right out.
We cannot prove it, but we have theorized that this letter was
developed by the same government bureau that invented the catsup packet. One
packet, as everyone knows, is never enough to actually accomplish
anythingunless, of course, you are down to your
last three french fries.
In any case, here is your letter: Q. Good Luq.
I'M LEAVING YOU GOONS
I currently receive your publication and would like to have my
name removed from your mailing list. There
was a time when there were some edifying articles in it but, sadly,
those days are long gone.
I could receive as much Biblical edification from reading
Mad Magazine if I had the time.
Adams Center, NY
If you guys were real poets you'd have remained silent on cheese.
Mr. Wilson's article, "Congregations and Plays" piqued my interest.
It pressed, as it were, the rewind button in my mind, engendering the
responses: "Hey, I know that guy!" "Oh wow,
I've been that guy," and "Uh-oh.
Pastor Wilson has one of those guys in his church?" But then, after a few
moments of pondering, it occured to me that the biblical cast has such an extensive
list that even the most diverse churches in our day cannot hope to comprehend
its scope. For instance, there is "the guy who falls asleep during the
sermon, plunges out the window, and winds up mostly dead." Then there's
the "pretentious real-estate donating couple killed by the pastoral staff." And
finally, we have the "quasi-indestructible, itinerant Presbyterian minister with
dual citizenship, absolutely perfect doctrine and outrageous medical bills."
All humor aside, the article was both insightful and practical. It
was even entertaining. Be assured that Canadian confessionalists
everywhere will hate you for this. Well done.
Sierra San Pedro