Thursday, September 30, 2010

Carl Truman's New Book for $5!

Carl Truman has written a new book, Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative. Incredibly, Westminster is currently selling the book for $4.99 for this week, only. I don't know about you, but that seems like a pretty good deal.
Politics has become something of a joke - but not a funny one. ‘Sound-bite’ and ‘knee-jerk’ have replaced reasoned debate and the Church appears to wear a one-size-fits-all political jacket. Isn’t it time to think a bit deeper? Carl Trueman takes you on a readable, provocative, and lively romp through Christianity and politics.
Here is Dr. Truman on the Reformed Forum talking about the book:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Unprofessional Book Review: The Strain Trilogy Books I-II by Guillermo del Toro

If you are a movie geek like me, then you like Guillermo Del Toro. I like his monsters, I like his style, and I just generally like the way he approaches storytelling. Out of curiosity, I started reading The Strain, which is the first book of a vampire trilogy co-written with Chuck Hogan (he wrote the novel that the new Ben Affleck film The Town is based on). Don't roll your eyes at the mention of vampires. As Del Toro said recently in an interview with Stephen Colbert, these are not the sorts of vampires that you would want to take on a date. And boy am I thankful for that! The second book in the trilogy, The Fall (which I just finished reading) was released last Tuesday.

The trilogy starts out with a plane at rest on the tarmac at JFK Airport. The plane full of 'dead' passengers who have been infected with a mysterious virus which kills all but a handful. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, there was a mysterious and ancient passenger on board the plane in the cargo hold, and his arrival in New York is signaling the fruition of a long gestated plan. I won't ruin things by explaining the intricacies of the story. At this point, suffice it to say, the 'dead' passengers don't stay dead once nightfall arrives.

Slowly, (and I do mean SLOWLY) the authorities come to realized that a plague has been unleashed upon the city of New York, and that nobody is immune to its horror. As implied at the beginning, these are not shiny, cute, boy-band looking vampires (a la Twilight), but the really scary kind that eat anything and everything they can get their hands on, and thereby propagating their species further.

Del Toro has intentionally taken an anti-supernaturalistic approach to the creatures, which is fine by me, since from a worldview perspective, they aren't real in the first place. He explains their functions in purely physical terms and describes in tremendous detail how their bodies work. What I did notice (especially in the first book) in terms of 'worldview' agenda was that Del Toro is explicit that religious images (crosses, holy water, etc.) are just 'superstitious' and won't harm the vampires. At one point, a catholic woman throws holy water on a vampire to none effect; realizing she is in big trouble, she quips, "When the power of Jesus fails you, you know you are ---- out of luck."

At another point in the book, the main character in the book, Ephraim, is looking for his friend. As he moves through the train she was on, he sees a room full of recently feasted on bodies. Instead of looking for her face, he doesn't bother. "Nora was smarter than that," and he proceeds forward without looking for her among the dead. I just stopped reading and went, 'Smart enough for what? To know not to die? There may be a flaw in your logic; you'd better look at those faces after all.'

As you can see, this is not the best writing you've ever seen. Moby Dick this is not. But then again, this is pop fiction and meant to be ingested quickly and with little effort. I finished book one in a single weekend, and I took a little longer with book two, even though it was shorter. Overall, these books are entertaining, and a nice respite from the cheesy, schmaltzy vampire junk that's constantly in theaters and on television right now.

I can't put my finger on it, but these books reminded me a great deal of the Left Behind series. Partially, because the writing is literally no better than Lehaye/Jenkins wrote, and partially because a similar grim eschatological pallor hangs over the books as the world descends deeper and deeper into the vampire infestation, and the sole survivors carrying the secret that can save everyone struggle on closer and closer to some sort of resolution. Think of it as Left Behind for pagans.

Truthfully, I don't like to read pop fiction like this very often. But the way I function is by breaking up my reading every now and then, and occasionally feeding my imagination with crazy stuff like this. I find that it keeps my mind 'elastic' if I can use a weird phrase like that, and helps me to be flexible and creative in my thinking. If you're in the mood for a mind-stretch and some freaky vampire hunting, I must say this is the book for you - as long as the thought of blood doesn't make you want to puke.

Lots of Free Vern Poythress Books

Vern Poythress has made nine of his books available in electronic format on his web page. I have every intention of reading his commentary on Revelation and his book on dispensationalism.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jonathan Edwards un(?)-Reformed Doctrine of Union With Christ

In Resurrection and Eschatology, there is an essay by Jeff Waddington about Jonathan Edwards' doctrine of justification, which I have particularly found enlightening. I have long been exposed to claims that not only was Jonathan Edwards un-Reformed in his doctrine of justification, but that so was John Calvin (because he believed that justification and sanctification were concurrent blessings to the believer).

Waddington wrote this essay in regard to claims by Thomas A. Schafer that Jonathan Edwards' doctrine of justification was "ambiguous and somewhat precarious." Schafer writes:
In view of the circumstances surrounding Edwards' discourse on justification and its prominence among his first publications, the almost total lack of emphasis on the doctrine in the great works of his last twenty years needs some explanation
So there is innuendo being set forth on Schafer's part that Jonathan Edwards is decidedly non-Reformed in his understanding of justification. Schafer's case is threefold, but I am for the most part interested in the first point of Schafer's which Waddington spends a great deal of time carefully dismantling. The charge which Waddington deals with is the claim that Edwards' doctrine of union with Christ compromises Edwards' Reformed pedigree.

Waddington argues - quite ably - that Schafer has not made his case. Edwards' supposedly troublesome statement is that
what is real in the union between Christ and his people, is the foundation of what is legal; that is, it is something really in them, and between them, uniting them, that is the ground of the suitableness of their being accounted as one by the Judge. (Edwards, Justification by Faith)
As somewhat of an outsider to many of the debates that go on in the Reformed world, I only have a peripheral awareness of certain disputes which are ongoing, and I have recently come to understand that this 'union with Christ' issue is a matter that is fiercely debated today. It is not my place, at this point, to endorse one view or another (since I'm too new to the debate to fairly set out a view of my own). My point here is to affirm Waddington's case that this view of Edwards' is, in fact, not a novelty among Reformed theologians. Waddington quotes Calvin, to support his case, with Calvin discussing the importance of union between believers and Christ:
as long as Christ remains outside us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value to us. (Calvin, Institutes 3.1.1)
Waddington concludes this point in defense of Edwards by stating that, "with John Gerstner, we would argue that his especially clear emphasis on union with Christ only enhances [Edwards'] treatment of justification and gives it a rather solid foundation" (Pg 489).

By the way, I wish to commend to you the entire volume of Resurrection and Eschatology. I have only read a few of the twenty-two essays contained within it, but so far it has all been tremendously instructive. In addition to Waddington's essay which I have been referring to, I have also benefited a great deal from G.K. Beale's essay on the authorship of the book of Isaiah.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

King and Servant Bonus Show 6

Blubrry player!

I preached in Seattle last weekend on the subject of Sanctification. The sermon is called Married to Another.....enjoy!

Freedom of the Will in the Massachusetts Bullying Case

In Massachusetts, 6 young people are being charged with various crimes related to the suicide of a 15 year old girl. According to the prosecutors, the severe, repetitive, incessant bullying caused Phoebe Prince to commit suicide. At this point, the bullying case is hinging upon whether the defense will be able to have access to Ms. Prince's medical records, which the defense believes will demonstrate that Prince had a history of mental illness and suicide attempts.
Prosecutors are expected to argue that Ms. Prince’s vulnerability made the bullying all the more reprehensible. If the defendants’ acts are found to have prompted her suicide, they could be legally culpable, regardless of her past, said Andrew Goode, a defense lawyer in Boston.
Interestingly, many purveyors of libertarian freedom would gladly get behind the victim in this case. And yet I can't help but notice that the underlying assumption of this case is that someone's behavior can be "caused" by another. I wonder if there are any Arminians or Semi-Pelagians who would argue that Ms. Prince was not free when she chose to hang herself, since her behavior was caused by another.

In either case, the assumption is not that the defendants are innocent because you cannot "cause" another person's behavior. As the defense attorney says, "The state is trying to say that my client’s behavior was the catalyst for her taking her life, but these records might show there were other reasons." Rather, the argument is that there were other factors in Ms. Prince's case which show that the bullying was not the only cause. I wonder why the defense attorney does not simply cry out, "Free will! Free will! Ms. Prince did this of her own free will!" It seems like the simplest way to go, and a jury might just buy it.

In either case, notice that the entire assumption of the case hinges on the principle that one person can be then antecedent cause of another's behavior. This seems to confirm Jonathan Edwards' statement that the legal system rejects the Arminian notion of freedom and liberty.

On another telling note, this trial is taking place in Northampton, Mass.; home of none other than Jonathan Edwards himself. I wonder what President Edwards would have to say from his pulpit about this case if he were in Northampton today...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Last Letter of the TULIP

No, not the "P"! I mean, the last letter that potential Calvinists finally come to terms with. I'm talking about the infamous "L," which stands for Limited Atonement. I am accumulating an ever-growing list of friends who have learned to rejoice in man's radical fallenness, God's sovereign choice, the Spirit's effectual calling, and his preservation of his people. In other words, I know a lot of four-point Calvinists. What I was going to do was call this post "Limited Atonement for Dummies," but it seemed a little too clever for its own good. Also, I didn't want these newcomers to think I was calling them dummies.

What I wanted to do here was a series of drive-by arguments meant to provoke thought and not to exhaustively answer this subject in a drawn-out way.

Thought #1:
Limited Atonement is not about how valuable the blood of Jesus is. Rather, it is a statement about the Son's intent in coming and laying down his life "of my own accord." What was Jesus' intent, in other words? J.I. Packer defines limited atonement in this way: "the death of Christ actually put away the sins of all God's elect and ensured that they would be brought to faith through regeneration and kept in faith for glory, and that this is what it was intended to achieve."

Thought #2:
If you believe that the Father elected only some, that the Spirit draws only some, then by denying Limited Atonement, you set the Son against the Father in his purpose, because you have the Father choosing some, the Spirit drawing some, and the Son atoning for all with the intention of saving all. This creates a Trinitarian dilemma which I would not want to find myself in. Rather, let us say that the Father chooses his elect, the Spirit draws the elect, and the Son removes the sin of the elect, giving them His own righteousness in their place. This is the single-minded purpose of God in salvation and brings him great glory.

Thought #3:
If Jesus really did atone for the sins of those in Hell, not only are we to accuse God of double jeopardy (punishing the same sin twice), but we have a situation where someone's sin has been removed. But then what sin, does the person suffer for in Hell? I have heard many argue that they are punished for their unbelief. However, John Owen famously argued that if Christ died for all of the sinner's sins, then He also must have died for their sin of unbelief. If, then, Owen argued, the sin of unbelief has been atoned for, they have no grounds for punishment in Hell. And if someone argues that all sins except for unbelief are atoned for, then it is not the Calvinist who limits the atonement, but the person who is saying that Christ does not die for all of a person's sins.

Thought #4:
There are plenty of verses which teach that anyone who believes will be saved, but these do not contradict Limited Atonement. Likewise, there are many verses which praise Christ's dying for "the world." Each of these verses, on their own may individually be answered. D.A. Carson argues that "both Arminians and Calvinists should rightly affirm that Christ died for all, in the sense that Christ’s death was sufficient for all and that Scripture portrays God as inviting, commanding, and desiring the salvation of all, out of love." And so we do. We affirm that Christ died for the world, but we are careful to define what we mean by that, as we should all do anyway. (Incidentally, I recommend Carson's article, which fleshes out his meaning quite a bit.)

Thought #5:
There are many verses which teach Christ's particular intention in laying down his life. This includes Christ talking about intending to save "His sheep": John 10:11, 15; "His Church," Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25-27; "His people," Matt. 1:21, and "the elect," Rom. 8:32-35. Furthermore, The Bible does speak of Christ's only coming to save some: "John 6:37-40; Rom. 5:8-10; Gal. 2:20; Gal. 3:13-14; Gal. 4:4-5; 1 John 4:9-10; Rev. 1:4-6; Rev. 5:9-10. We also see Jesus' particular intention to only lay down his life for his sheep in the high priestly prayer in John 17:9: "I pray not for the world, but for those whom you have given to me."* If Jesus was trying to save each and every person who ever lived or ever would live, then this would be a very curious prayer, indeed. As Packer puts it, "Is it conceivable that he would decline to pray for any whom he intended to die for? Definite redemption is the only...view that harmonizes with this data."

*Many thanks to Louis Berkhof and J.I. Packer for the Scripture references.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Father Mapple's Pulpit

In the book Moby Dick, Ishmael enters the mariners' chapel where all the seamen go the Sunday before setting to sea. Never before have I read a book where an entire chapter of the book is devoted to describing in amazing detail the pulpit of a church. And yet, here we have it in Melville's masterpiece:

Nor was the pulpit itself without a trace of the same sea-taste that had achieved the ladder and the picture. Its panelled front was in the likeness of a ship’s bluff bows, and the Holy Bible rested on a projecting piece of scroll work, fashioned after a ship’s fiddle-headed beak.

What could be more full of meaning?—for the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt. From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favorable winds. Yes, the world’s a ship on its passage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow.

Herman Melville, Moby Dick Chapter 8
I love this book. It has already produced within me such tremendous sentiments and sensations as I have never experienced before in reading a book. It's only a shame that I waited until I was almost 30 years old before reading it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Unprofessional Book Review: Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein

Tokyo is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, yet—or maybe because of it—there are so many people who have no one to confide in, no one to trust or burden with their secrets, worries, or disappointments....What the clubs are really fueled by is alienation, boredom, and loneliness. The rates are not unreasonable, but the costs in human terms are incredibly high.
In Tokyo Vice, Jake Adelstein tells the story of how he began as a reporter for the biggest news paper in Japan and worked his way through the ranks. 75% of the book is anecdotal stories about life, crime, and family within the Japanese culture. The other 25% of the book charts Adelstein's fight to expose a Yakuza crime boss named Tadamasa Goto who had ratted on his fellow Yakuza to the FBI. While this is ultimately the defining story of Adelstein's career, most of the book jumps from year to year, story to story as we see what Adelstein's life was like, attempting (and failing) to balance married life with his existence withing Tokyo's super-seedy sex-trade subculture.

Much of the book takes place as Adelstein goes from strip-clubs to massage parlors in search of his latest scoop (for some reason, Japanese strippers seemed to always have the information Jake needed). Adelstein's extended persistence in this dark side of Japanese society seems to have taken its toll on him. Jake mentions at one point that virtually living in this world destroyed his sex-drive and caused him to see sex as a dirty and unpleasant thing. He charts numerous moral compromises and frequently crossing the line in to unfaithfulness to his wife as he pursued his stories. Curiously, his wife never seemed to mind his constant bar-hopping. All of this did have a purpose, as Jake was able to expose the Japanese government's indifference to human trafficking. Even though I believe in total depravity, it is frankly shocking to see in Jake's firsthand accounts of the things human beings will do to each other. It is good to know that Jake was able to use his experiences in this part of Tokyo to help fight human trafficking (and he still is due to his involvement with the Polaris Project).

Ultimately, Adelstein was able to successfully expose Goto's misdeeds, and the man was eventually removed from the Yamaguchi-gumi crime syndicate. Adelstein seems very proud of this achievement, and I don't blame him - after all, it was accomplished in the face of tremendous opposition. I was shocked at the candidness with which he evaluated his own life, and the way he lived during his time in Japan. Adelstein struck me throughout the book as a man so badly in need of redemption, of forgiveness, of atonement. When his story ends up getting a dear friend brutally raped and murdered, we see Adelstein at his lowest point. He says that her ghost still haunts his dreams, and rightly so.

But Jake Adelstein is a pragmatist through and through, and this book shows him to be someone who is not particularly principled. For example, I think that his ability to expose the sex-slave trafficking was one of the few admirable things that he was involved with during his time in Japan. And yet even then, his actions are constantly tinged with a self-aware righteousness, as though his few good stories could make up for all the inattention to his family, riotous living, heavy drinking, and frequent fornication.

During his few moments of deep personal insight, we see a sense of loneliness, nihilism, guilt, and obsession. I appreciated these moments, but I saw so much regrettable behavior from Jake that I kept expecting to see more remorse, but it is rarely forthcoming.

I have three very positive things to say about the book:

First, the book is extremely well written. Simply from a literary perspective, Adelstein is quite adept at moving along the narrative at a fair clip without seeming overly rushed.

Second, the book was just plain interesting. Whether it was learning what the Yakuza are and how their network actually operates or whether it was simply seeing all the crazy stuff that citizens of Tokyo do to relieve their boredom, there is honestly, not a dull moment of reading.

Finally, the book was gripping. Even though I rarely agreed with the way Adelstein was living or pursuing his scoops, he always seemed to get into very interesting situations. As such, I finished the book in a little under a week. Also, there was so much ribald language that in a way I just wanted to find out what happened to Jake so I could get through with the book and put it away. I can handle a little Pulp Fiction every now and then, but some of the fellows in this book could put Andrew Dice Clay to shame. But in compliment to the book, it was an easy book to finish quickly, primarily because of the gripping narrative. I say, kudos to Jake Adelstein; you may be a reprobate, but at least you found an interesting way to retell it for the rest of us.

Here is video of Adelstein when he visited The Daily Show with John Stewart. He nicely summarizes the case he built against Goto.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jake Adelstein
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Incidentally, in case you are interested, the article which almost got Adelstein killed is at the Washington Post. You can purchase Tokyo Vice from Amazon here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thoughts on Acid Victim's Faith in God

You've probably read the story by now about the 28 year old girl who had acid thrown in her face as a seemingly random act of wickedness. She's being released from the hospital after having her face burned all over. In the story from CNN, they do quote her briefly talking about God, and I wanted to share what she said:
"God is watching over me," Storro, of Vancouver, Washington, told CNN affiliate KATU in Portland, Oregon, last week. "I believe in him. That his hands are on me and I can't live the rest of my life like that -- in fear. I can't let what she did to me wreck my life."
Now, on the one hand there is nothing terribly deep or profound here. On the other hand, it is glorifying to God, I believe, when somebody goes through something like this and blesses God rather than cursing him. But just like Job, who had his own hecklers, so too with young Bethany Storro. I normally don't read comments at the bottom of news stories, but I was curious what sorts of people statements like these would draw out.

Here is a very representative sort of comment from what I saw from a sweet fellow named MrMajestik:
God was watching over you? I have never understood this line of thinking...Why didn't he just prevent you from being at wrong place at wrong time? Or better yet protect you as the bible says he will...if you are faithful!
Now, MrMajestik seems to be of the perspective that God would not "want" something like this to happen to Ms. Storro. And yet the event did occur. And so, MrMajestik believes it to be self-evident that this God must be a "fairy tale" (he says so in a later comment). Ms. Storro, however, said that God is watching over her and that he "has his hands on her." Presumably, based on her statements, Majestik is not justified in assuming what he does about God as Storro conceives of Him. What is so horrible and incoherent about Storro believing that this event was part of God's plan for her life, and that perhaps God might have decreed such an event for His own glory and for Storro's joy?

Also, does anybody else detect a bit of a "name-it-and-claim-it" sort of a theology in Majestik's assumption that faithfulness will yield protection from God?

I am sometimes dumbfounded at the arrogance of the people who think they have such an intelligent angle on issues such as God and His existence, and yet they are unwilling to consider a more thoughtful position might possibly exist on the other sides of these debates. If only everyone were just simple-minded strawmen, wouldn't life be so much easier, and issues that much simpler to work through!

The Self-Deceived Passive Pagan

In his book A Christian's Reasonable Service, Dutch theologian Wilhelmus a'Brakel has a section titled "Various Forms of Self-Deceit Identified and False Foundations Exposed." Of particular note to me was the first group of self-deceived individuals which a'Brakel addresses himself to, because I believe it reflects the majority of people living in Western society today:
there are people who neither have knowledge, nor desire, nor do they meditate upon or have discussions about God, heaven, hell, the soul, the covenant, the Mediator, faith, or conversion. Their thoughts do not transcend this earth and do not penetrate beyond that which is visible; of invisible things they cannot speak a word. Is the soul immortal? Is there a heaven and a hell? This they will discover after their death; in the meantime they passively wait for where God will send them. They leave the matter to God, as it is not for them to search this out. They who have the privilege to go to heaven will then be well off; the others necessarily entertain a good hope about themselves. What fools you are!

Friday, September 3, 2010

If Not For God's Grace, We Would Starve Our Children

According to Louis Berkhof, common grace "curbs the destructive power of sin, maintains in a measure the moral order of the universe, thus making an orderly life possible, distributes in varying degrees gifts and talents among men, promotes the development of science and art, and showers untold blessings upon the children of men" (Systematic Theology, p. 434).

The grim flip-side of common grace is the fact that God does not owe this grace to anyone. Without the grace of God, even your average run of the mill pagan would behave like a brute beast, even towards their own children. I present exhibit A: Severely Malnourished Girl Found Dead, Tied to Bed. Such acts of neglect and abuse chill even the most hardened pagan, regardless of their worldview. Let us remember and be grateful to God, because even the simplest acts which all pagans agree must be done are gifts from God. Even something as commonsense as feeding your baby and not tying it to the bed is a gift from God, and apart from his grace, neither we nor any unbeliever would possess the desire to do any better.

We also have common grace to thank for this lady going to trial and receiving what she deserves (at least in temporal terms). Ultimately, we ought to pray for her salvation so that she doesn't receive what she deserves in the afterlife.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lady Gaga Needs To Read Kevin DeYoung

The editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, was on Jimmy Fallon last night discussing Vogue's annual Met Ball fundraiser. This year's musical act was Lady Gaga. While discussing the event, Wintour revealed that Lady Gaga "was communing with God and she was praying in the back, waiting for God to tell her it was all right to go actually onstage." Fallon didn't miss a beat: "I always talk to God, too -- whenever he says I can start the show. He books a lot of acts in New York City."

Somebody needs to send Lady Gaga a copy of Kevin DeYoung's new book Just Do Something. She might be on time for more appearances that way.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What a Difference Breathing Can Make!

After two months straight of daily blogging, I made the conscious decision to stop writing for about a week or so. In the interim, I've been reading a lot of stuff and breathing a lot of fresh air.

  • After getting Jonathan Edwards' complete sermons onto my Kindle, I've been reading them at a rate of probably three a day, and it is one of the greatest things I could have ever done for myself. The Yale introductions are tremendous, as well. I especially enjoy the end of the introductions where they talk about the condition of the manuscripts that they took the sermons from.
  • I put away a big chunk of John Calvin's Institutes. Of special interest to me was Calvin's arguments against images where he takes on the Council of Nicea. Fascinatingly, when it comes to the subject of art, he says that we should only make images of things that we can already see, and only for the purposes of education - not for pleasure or amusement.
  • I have also been reading through Calvin's commentary on Psalm 19, and I have found it to be a tremendous boon to my own appreciation of David's writings. Anybody who was ever presented with the stereotype that Calvin was a heartless theologian with a belly of iron never met the man in these pages. In his Commentary on the Psalms, Calvin shows himself to be a big hearted, God-besoughted, deeply thoughtful pastor.
  • For our Sunday School class (which I'm just sitting in on, not teaching), the high school seniors in our church are reading Greg Bahnsen's Pushing The Antithesis. We've just finished the preface and the introduction, but I am already pumped up and excited to do some major presuppositional apologizing. There is a strong likelihood that I will be blogging chapter by chapter as we read through and discuss the book. At an insanely generous discount of 1% off, I highly recommend that you get your copy from Westminster Bookstore (cue ironic smirk).
  • I also want to to put in a plug for our church's audio resources. In addition to having Pastor Granberry's Sunday Sermons (which are tremendous demonstrations of Gospel preaching if ever there was any), they also are posting the audio from Rick & Ben Franks' Sunday School class. They are moving week by week through the subject of Church History.
  • As you may be able to see, during the month of July, I managed to wrap up all of the crazy and interesting books that I was working on and which gave me so much fodder for blogging. As a partial result, July was an insanely popular time for our blog as we received over 6,000 visitors - no thanks in large part to Josh Walker's hilarious Three Amigos spoof.Since I don't simply want to write for the sake of writing, you may notice my rate of posting is slowing, but hopefully that results in quality over quantity. I was going to write something about Glenn Beck's emergence as the new Billy Graham, but instead I think I'll just debate with people about it on Facebook and save Bring the Books for quality stuff such as this meandering post.

Also, since Josh Walker is now in Canada studying the migratory patterns of Koine Greek speaking water geese under the tutelage of Dr. Stanley Porter, we will perhaps hear the occasional chirp from him regarding things that are far beyond my own level of comprehension. Lets hope, anyway.