Final Call (February 7)

Welcome to Final Call, a brief, hand-picked selection of news, articles, videos, and curiosities from the Internet and beyond. Today’s edition looks at climate change, defines means of grace, and makes a request of Christian publishers.

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The Problem with Climate Change

I have thought a lot about climate change over the past few years. I can’t deny that I have a deep skepticism about so much of what I read. That’s partly because of the utter hypocrisy of many of its foremost advocates, but also because of the pantheistic worldview behind so much of it, because of the wealth and power that are at stake, and because most of the proposed solutions can’t actually fix the problem. I wouldn’t say I’m a climate change denier as much as a skeptic, at least as it pertains to the seriousness of the problem and the effectiveness of the proposed solutions. I just haven’t been convinced.

Anyway, I was quite taken with Addison Del Mastro’s column at The American Conservative titled “Too Good a Problem.” He wonders why climate change skepticism is associated with conservatism and offers this explanation: “A lot of it comes down to the fact that, from a conservative point of view, climate change looks like too good a problem for liberals. Everything liberals want, or that conservatives think liberals want—more regulation, more control of the economy, more redistribution of wealth, skepticism or hostility towards capitalism and of America’s status as an affluent superpower—are suggested or required by the reality of climate change. The conservative sees liberals rubbing their hands together at the prospect of a problem that needs such solutions, and he thinks, “No, such a perfect problem couldn’t ‘just happen’ to arise—it must be invented or massively overstated.”” That is insightful and may well be true.

Meanwhile, here in Ontario we’ve just begun paying a carbon tax that, in one way or another, impacts just about everything we purchase. There is no realistic hope that this carbon tax will even begin to address the issues. It’s little more than a government cash grab.

Definition: Means of Grace

“In respect to ecclesiology, activities by which God’s blessings are communicated to his people. Many Protestant churches consider preaching and the sacraments to be means of grace. Preaching communicates the gospel by which salvation comes, and baptism and the Lord’s Supper bestow what they signify: forgiveness, identification with Christ, his presence, spiritual nourishment, church membership, and more. Other churches do not restrict the means of grace to these three activities. Still others avoid the language of means of grace to avoid association with Catholic theology’s position that grace is infused into the faithful through the seven sacraments.” (The Baker Compact Dictionary of Theological Terms)

A Plea to Publishers

I want to use this space to make a plea to Christian publishers. In an age of social media, publishers rely on their authors to do a lot of the publicity for new books. Many times a book will go little farther than the author’s efforts to push it. Yet publishers rarely give their authors effective resources to help.

I review a book a week and, more than anything else, find myself wishing that publishers would provide good graphics for their new books. Publishers, please provide your authors with some excellent, attractive graphics sized for social media—1200 x 630 for Facebook, 1080 x 1080 for Instagram and Twitter, and so on. (See here for an updated list of current sizes.). Then make these graphics publicly available for people who are mentioning the book on blogs or other forms of social media. Also, be sure to provide high-resolution images of the cover. It amazes me how often the only images available of a new book are tiny, low-resolution, and watermarked by Amazon.

Your authors work hard on their books. They work hard to get the word out. Please resource them well!