Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Parable of the Flowerbed

A wife asked her husband to do something about the weeds in her flowerbed, so he got to work. When he finished pulling up all the weeds, she went out to inspect the flowerbed. She found that the weeds were gone, but to her dismay, all of the flowers were smashed and destroyed. “Honey, you’ve ruined my flowers!” she said. “What? I had absolutely no intention of doing that,” he responded. She replied, “Well, regardless of whether you intended to do it, that’s definitely what you did.”

To add a moral in the manner of the Greeks: Take away what is bad without taking away what is good, and dont think that good intentions alone will exonerate you from wrongdoing.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Brief: Papa Don’t Pope

Papa Don't Pope: Why I'm Not a Roman Catholic (and Why the Future Is Protestant)Papa Don't Pope: Why I'm Not a Roman Catholic by Douglas Wilson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Plenty of good thoughts, which is no surprise; although lately Wilson’s books feel like blog post compilations, which I’m not crazy about. And adding to the bloggy flavor were an unusual number of typos.

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I’ll list a few of the typos/errors that I noticed, and these were just the ones that I marked. It seems that there were others earlier in the book that I didn’t mark. I’m not trying to make mountains out of mole hills or anything, but Canon Press usually doesn’t overlook these sorts of things. Wilson’s meaning is clear in all of these places, but when you regularly notice errors like this, it’s hard not to ask if the book was even proofed before going to print. In any case, it’s very clear that Canon Press should hire me as an editor. :)

pg. 87 – “And this is where I believe those who are consider adopting Roman Catholicism . . .”

pg. 95 – “Do covetous people pour over catalogs, full of desiderata? . . . A covetous woman pouring over a catalog is worshiping.” – It’s poring, not pouring.

pg. 98 – “Because of the presence of the calf, not because of the absence an invocation of YHWH.”

pg. 115 – “Not only does God warn the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4 to remember that they saw no form on the mountain (which would prevent them from trying to make an image of the true God), we also see in Aaron’s brief excursion into idolatry in the golden calf incident.” – This sentence seems to be missing something.

pg. 122 – “Then you have deal with them, and their arguments, along with taunts from the left ditch behind you.”

pg. 133 – “There is absolute no other way to get to the liberation of no condemnation.”

pg. 151 – “. . . a handful of kirkers (as we call them) have gone out there and (I say this with deep affection for every bone in their heads) and done some idiotic things.” – There’s an “and” on both sides of the parentheses.

pg. 155 – “To take one striking example, I really don’t really think that . . . .” – I really don’t really think there’s supposed to be two reallys there.

pg. 161 – “And we need to have a high view of that which of first importance . . .”

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Book Brief: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet LetterThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m sure I was supposed to have read this in high school at some point, but I probably didn’t. It’s a powerful story though, with lots of memorable lines and passages.

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“To the untrue man, the whole universe is false—it is impalpable—it shrinks to nothing within his grasp.”

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

“Believe me, Hester, there are few things whether in the outward world, or, to a certain depth, in the invisible sphere of thought—few things hidden from the man who devotes himself earnestly and unreservedly to the solution of a mystery.” – Chillingworth

“Women derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from the delicate toil of the needle.”

“We men of study, whose heads are in our books, have need to be straightly looked after! We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.” – Chillingworth to Dimmesdale

“Dames of elevated rank, likewise, whose doors she entered in the way of her occupation, were accustomed to distil drops of bitterness into her heart; sometimes through that alchemy of quiet malice, by which women can concoct a subtle poison from ordinary things.”

“She thought of those long-past days in a distant land, when he used to emerge at eventide from the seclusion of his study and sit down in the firelight of their home, and in the light of her nuptial smile. He needed to bask himself in that smile, he said, in order that the chill of so many lonely hours among his books might be taken off the scholar’s heart.”

“Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret! Thou little knowest what a relief it is, after the torment of a seven years’ cheat, to look into an eye that recognises me for what I am! Had I one friend—or were it my worst enemy!—to whom, when sickened with the praises of all other men, I could daily betake myself, and be known as the vilest of all sinners, methinks my soul might keep itself alive thereby. Even thus much of truth would save me!” – Dimmesdale

“Nothing was more common, in those days, than to interpret all meteoric appearances, and other natural phenomena that occurred with less regularity than the rise and set of sun and moon, as so many revelations from a supernatural source. Thus, a blazing spear, a sword of flame, a bow, or a sheaf of arrows seen in the midnight sky, prefigured Indian warfare. Pestilence was known to have been foreboded by a shower of crimson light. We doubt whether any marked event, for good or evil, ever befell New England, from its settlement down to revolutionary times, of which the inhabitants had not been previously warned by some spectacle of its nature. Not seldom, it had been seen by multitudes. Oftener, however, its credibility rested on the faith of some lonely eye-witness, who beheld the wonder through the coloured, magnifying, and distorted medium of his imagination, and shaped it more distinctly in his after-thought. It was, indeed, a majestic idea that the destiny of nations should be revealed, in these awful hieroglyphics, on the cope of heaven. A scroll so wide might not be deemed too expensive for Providence to write a people’s doom upon. The belief was a favourite one with our forefathers, as betokening that their infant commonwealth was under a celestial guardianship of peculiar intimacy and strictness. But what shall we say, when an individual discovers a revelation addressed to himself alone, on the same vast sheet of record. In such a case, it could only be the symptom of a highly disordered mental state, when a man, rendered morbidly self-contemplative by long, intense, and secret pain, had extended his egotism over the whole expanse of nature, until the firmament itself should appear no more than a fitting page for his soul’s history and fate.”