I’m over at Torrey Gazette today with a tribute (of sorts) to G.K. Chesterton and his vision of the ordinary. Go have a look-see.
In her detective novel The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Dorothy Sayers compares books to lobster shells: “We surround ourselves with ’em, then we grow out of ’em and leave ’em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development.” The same may be said of authors.
And yet, inarguable as the comparison may be on some level, I think we can all point to exceptions that have achieved a certain “supra-lobster shell” status in our lives. These are the books and authors we can’t seem to grow out of, because no matter where we are in life, they still fit.
Chesterton is one of those for me. I discovered his writing six or seven years ago, and much as I’ve come to dislike the phrase “love affair” as a descriptor for things other than actual love affairs, it hits fairly near the mark. I’d like to think I’m proof that one can be staunchly Reformed Presbyterian and still count G.K.C. a defining influence in one’s life. (There is, of course, the distinct possibility the old papist would throw an ink blotter at my head if he knew, but you can’t win ’em all.)
The rash of sting videos released by the Center for Medical Progress not only exposed Planned Parenthood, but also reignited debate in Christian circles over the nature and moral legitimacy of deception.
The Hebrew midwives (Exodus 1:15-20) and Rahab (Joshua 2:1-5) have long been enough to convince me that there are cases where deception is not only excusable, but praiseworthy (dare I say, righteous?). Others have not been so persuaded.
In an effort to defend the legitimate use of deception, my friend Joshua Torrey – the mover and shaker behind Torrey Gazette – wrote a series of posts on the subject. These posts have recently been revised, expanded, and compiled into a single volume. It’s available for free right now in MOBI, EPUB, and PDF formats. For anyone with questions about the biblical case for ‘holy deception’, Torrey’s book is a sane and studied place to start.
Also, for the love of all that is sensible, subscribe to TG. It’s just one of those things you won’t regret.
Last night I wrote about joy.
Then I went to bed and didn’t get much sleep.
This morning I woke up to another Planned Parenthood video, in which a former employee describes taking a baby whose heart is still beating and cutting its face open with scissors to harvest the brain.
I wrote about joy.
Talk about the rubber meeting the road.
Joy abides. Even in this.
Reading through the Psalms with Matthew Henry’s commentary has afforded me a wealth of encouragement second to none. Reflecting on Psalm 68:3-6, Henry calls his readers to take note of a heartening but underemphasized truth: that the same all-powerful God who made us, the God “that rideth upon the heavens” – is also, and no less importantly, our Father. He is
a gracious God, a God of mercy and tender compassion. He is great, but he despises not any, no, not the meanest; nay, being a God of great power, he uses his power for the relief of those that are distressed, v. 5, 6. The fatherless, the widows, the solitary, find him a God all-sufficient to them. Observe how much God’s goodness is his glory. He that rides on the heavens by his name Jah, one would think should immediately have been adored as King of kings and Lord of lords, and the sovereign director of all the affairs of states and nations; he is so, but this he rather glories in, that he is a Father of the fatherless. Though God be high, yet he has respect unto the lowly. Happy are those that have an interest in such a God as this. He that rides upon the heavens is a Father worth having; thrice happy are the people whose God is the Lord.
“[God] teaches us that unless we are converted and become like these weak ones, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3). The model of saving faith is not yours or mine, but your child’s. Because salvation is not about us and our capacities; it is about God’s power and grace.”
– Tim Gallant, ‘The Kingdom of God and Children’