Reading and remembering

Alan Jacobs writes:

  • Though I am unloveable, God loves me, and is willing to pay an enormous price to reconcile me to Himself. God loves me and hopes – “hopes” is a strange word to use with regard to the Omnipotent and Omniscient, but it’s the best word I have – God hopes that I will love Him in return.

“Adam Atheist,” The Homebound Symphony (Oct. 27, 2022) [link]. This reminded me of Will Campbell’s definition of grace: “We’re all bastards, but God loves us anyway.” The quote is from Brother to Dragonfly, but you can easily find more about Campbell and his definition online, for example at Philip Yancey, “Apostle to the Rednecks,” philipyancey.com (June 7, 2013) [link].

Sarah Rowell writes:

  • Stories [remind us]. They bring people together, shy at a dinner party, weeping on a bench. They remind us that although we cannot see our own way, there is a good purpose, for in the very best stories the way is dark at times and we cannot imagine a happy ending. They give us hope and make us brave.

“The Stories of His People,” Blind Mule Blog (Oct. 24, 2022) [link]. Sarah is thinking of her grandfather, and Wendell Berry, and a newly recognized friend.

Brad East gives charitable rules for reviewing and being reviewed, notably

  • 3. A review should give the reader some taste of the prose, some sense of the voice of the author and not only the author as mediated by your voice.

“Rules for reviewing and being reviewed,” bradeast.org (Oct. 24, 2022) [link], but I was then much taken by an older post about why believers should see the Bible as trustworthy:

  • The third reason for trusting the New Testament as God’s word is that the church does. What do I mean by this? Simply this: Christianity precedes us. We don’t make it up ourselves. We certainly don’t build it from scratch. It’s not a DIY project. It’s just there, waiting for us before we come on the scene. It possesses something truly precious, or so it claims. That something is the good news of Jesus.

“Trusting the Bible,” bradeast.org (Sept. 3, 2022) [link].

Also well worth reading this week: Ted Gioia, “9 Facts About Guitarist Pat Metheny as a Youngster,” Substack: The Honest Broker (Oct. 25, 2022) [link]; Andrew Sullivan, “The British Barack Obama?” Substack: The Weekly Dish (Oct. 28, 2022) [link]; Freddie deBoer, “Mad Max in Park Slope” Substack: FdB (Oct. 28, 2022) [link].

Reading

Sarah Willard, “Come Ye Sinners,” Blind Mule Blog (Aug. 11, 2022) [link]:

What is endlessly comforting to me as a Christian is that the first step in God’s provision is emptiness. What qualifies you for Christ? Need, lack, want. These are things I have, so this is good news. A lack of love and strength is exactly what I can bring to Christ.

In her winsome, humble way, Sarah writes about on why feeling tired and empty is not necessarily bad place to be. A wise young woman.


Freddie DeBoer, “Hard Work is Only Sometimes Necessary and Never Sufficient, But What Else Can You Do? (yes, the system is rigged, but you’re in it all the same),” FdB (Aug. 15, 2022) [link]:

Life’s not fair. But that doesn’t mean that you get to just opt out of it. And you know what? Congrats to that guy who doesn’t work hard and enjoys more success, seriously. Te salut. Bottom line: hard work can’t ensure your success but a lack of hard work can ensure your failure. 
                             * * * 
[B]eing a socialist never entailed a belief that nothing we do matters or that we were exempt from the need to work. The fact that so many people have come to believe that the only options before us are a witless rise-and-grind work fetishism or an utterly fatalistic belief that nothing we do matters… it doesn’t say good things about our culture. Personally, I blame capitalism. 

That last bit is tongue-in-cheek, if the post title didn’t give it away.


Alan Jacobs, “Tolerance,” Snakes and Ladders (Aug. 15, 2022) [link]:

[Washington is saying] I . . . do not offer “toleration” to you and people like you, because it is not in the power of some Americans merely to tolerate the exercise of other Americans’ rights. To be an American is to be on the same footing with every other American. This is the view that Yenor rejects: he’s explicitly pursuing an America in which Protestant Christians have the power to tolerate of others, and the liberties of those others depend upon the sufferance of their Protestant rulers.

If I may take this one more (theological) step, those who believe in the Imago Dei should not view others with toleration (as those who are permitted to be wrong) but almost with reverence (as those who are called to choose). C.S. Lewis has something to say about this, too. [link]

And finally, one more from ayjay if you are at all interested in the technical aspects of music recording: Alan Jacobs, “untitled,” Snakes and Ladders (Aug. 12, 2022). [link]