I have done a lot of reading lately and am preparing a bunch of book reviews for the next couple of weeks. I thought it might prove an amusing distraction to select a brief quote from each, provide you the titles to the book, and see if you can match them up. Or even just read the quotes. It’s Friday—do whatever you want!
The earth turns on its orbit for You. The oceans ebb and flow for You. The birds sing for You. The sun rises and it sets for You. The stars come out for You. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there, for You. Take a look around. None of it can exist, without You. No matter who you thought you were, now you know the Truth of Who You Really Are. You are the master of the Universe. You are the heir to the kingdom. You are the perfection of Life.
Consider the primitive technology of smoke signals. While I do not know exactly what content was once carried in the smoke signals of American Indians, I can safely guess that it did not include philosophical argument. Puffs of smoke are insufficiently complex to express ideas on the nature of existence, and even if they were not, a Cherokee philosopher would run short of either wood or blankets long before he reached his second axiom. You cannot use smoke to do philosophy. Its form excludes the content.
I shall never forget and you will doubtless well remember the evening when you first gave me your hand…how I sat stupid and speechless for some minutes and I believe a little embarrassed you by my awkwardness. My heart was so full it beat and trembled to that degree that I knew not how to get a word out.
In short, after rumbling away for a century and a half behind the closed doors of the liberal scholarly academy, criticisms of penal substitution have recently been voiced by several influential evangelical theologians and church leaders, providing a storm of controversy within the Christian community.
The first thing I learned in Sunday school was that black is the color of our hearts without Jesus, red is the color of Jesus’ redeeming blood, and white is the color of our cleansed hearts after we accept Jesus as our “Lord and Savior.” There were even visual aids, construction paper cut-outs, that demonstrated the red blood washing away the black sin to reveal a brand-new white heart.
The triumph of consumerism is this very leap from making goods attractive through branding to selling the brand itself—in other words, selling consumer identity. Like it or not, in our society, we are what we buy. Savvy stores do not sell products, but self-image.
Harriet Porter suffered from what was then diagnosed as melancholy (what we would now call depression), which was exacerbated by her devotion to the grim teachings of Calvinism. She treated life on earth as an unpleasant duty, a cross to be borne until one reached the joyous gates of heaven.
Skinning the Rabbit
This is not a difficult process, though it is a little daunting the first time. If you have a heavy-bladed cleaver, simply chop off the four paws. If you are stuck with only a penknife, break the forearm bones with a quick jerk, then cut the skin around the break in a ring. Remove the head in the same way. A serrated edge will cut through the bones, but a standard kitchen knife is likely to be damaged if used as a chopper.
And here, in no particular order, are the books you can choose from:
- A. Reconciliation Blues by Edward Gilbreath
- B. The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden
- C. John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace by Jonathan Aitken
- D. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
- E. The Most Famous Man in America by Debby Applegate
- F. Pierced for our Transgressions by Steve Jeffery, Mike Ovey, Andrew Sach
- G. Brand Jesus by Tyler Wigg Stevenson
- H. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne