Tag Archives: reformed is not enough

2013 Year In Review: Non-Fiction

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Top Ten:

1. ANGELS IN THE ARCHITECTURE by Douglas Wilson & Doug Jones (review)
2. DEATH BY LIVING by N.D. Wilson (review)
3. IN DEFENSE OF SANITY edited by Ahlquist, Pearce, & Mackey (review)
4. BED AND BOARD by Robert Farrar Capon
5. CONFESSIONS by Augustine
6. ORTHODOXY by G.K. Chesterton (review)
7. THE CREEDAL IMPERATIVE by Carl Trueman (review)
8. REFORMED IS NOT ENOUGH by Douglas Wilson
9. THE CHRISTIAN IMAGINATION edited by Leland Ryken
10. THE RIGHT STUFF by Tom Wolfe (review)

Honorable Mentions:

11. THE SUPPER OF THE LAMB by Robert Farrar Capon
12. THE SEARCH FOR GOD AND GUINNESS by Stephen Mansfield
13. PENSEES by Blaise Pascal
14. IDEAS HAVE CONSEQUENCES by Richard Weaver (review)
15. TOTAL TRUTH by Nancy Pearcey
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The Pest of Nebulous Tradition

From Reformed Is Not Enough (p. 51):

God has created us in such a way that we do not have the luxury of a “no tradition” option. If we attempt it, the only thing we succeed in doing is incorporating a good deal of confusion into the tradition we hand down. This was seen by one wise Baptist pastor, who said, “We Baptists don’t believe in tradition. It is contrary to our historic position.” Our children grow up in our homes, and they learn countless lessons there – about worship, liturgy, devotion, cultural incarnation, and more. Most of what they know about these things is invisible to them. It is the teaching office of the Church, in part, to point out, identify, explain, and teach the biblical basis for such traditions. If there is no biblical basis for something, and the tradition is pernicious, then the point of the scriptural teaching should be in order to remove that tradition.

But the real pest is nebulous tradition. Traditions are at their worst when they grow up and are simply assumed in the bones, with no examination. But sinful human beings always need accountability – and sinful human opinions and traditions are the same. Those who compare themselves with themselves are not wise (2 Cor. 10:12).

“We do not have the luxury of a ‘no tradition’ option.” I love that. It reminds me of the case Carl Trueman makes in his book on creeds and confessions: namely, that the world is not divided between those who have creeds and those who don’t. It is divided between those who have creeds that are available for public scrutiny, and those who have private creeds, unavailable for others to see and test by Scripture.

In the same way, we are not looking at a division between people with traditions and people without traditions. Everyone has traditions. But not everyone tests their traditions by Scripture to see if they are worth keeping. Those who fail to do so are walking a dangerous road with a vertical drop at the end. The fall won’t be pretty.

On the Bookshelf XVI

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W1CK by Michael Bunker & Chris Aswalt
Borrowed this one from the Kindle library at the recommendation of a friend. Post-apocalyptic fiction is a favorite genre of mine, but this book describes itself as “pre-apocalyptic” – a thriller that sets the stage for the “social, economic, and structural collapse of Western Civilization.” Bring it on.
At the Mountains of Madness and Other Weird Tales by H.P. Lovecraft
Deadly cats, multi-eyed protoplasmic entities, time-traveling body snatchers, and *cough* huge albino penguins. You’ve gotta hand it to him: when it comes to things weird, creepy, and grotesque, Lovecraft’s imagination is virtually unrivaled. I’m still trying to decide if that’s a good thing or not.
The Iliad by Homer
Not entirely sure why it took me this long to pick up Homer’s work, but I’m glad I finally did. But you probably knew I’d say that. I’m using the translation by Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley, and so far, it’s every bit as epic as his name.
Reformed Is Not Enough: Recovering the Objectivity of the Covenant by Douglas Wilson
“Multitudes of faithless, corrupt Christians show that they do not believe what God said at their baptism. They live like adulterous husbands. But the tragedy is that many conscientious conservative Christians also do not believe what God said at their baptism.” Regardless of whether you agree with every little thing he writes, Wilson seldom fails to challenge, engage, and edify. I’m excited to dig into this one.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
I’ll be honest: this book scares me. I don’t think I’ve said that of any other book, but it’s certainly true of this one. Something about reading a thousand-page novel centered on Objectivism makes my blood run cold. But read it I shall. It’s considered “a classic” by many, and I want to know why. (The fact that it was a key influence in the development of my favorite game is simply an added bonus.)

What’s on your bookshelf right now?