Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

The latest edition of Harper's Magazine has an article by Jeff Sharlet on how the Christian right is reimagining US history.  R J Rushdoony gets quite a few column inches but Sharlet misses the worst aspect of this man's history: Holocaust Denial.

Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

I notice that the bookstore at WTS (http://www.wtsbooks.com/) is puffing a new book by the late WIlliam Still, flagging it up with a godly puff from Sinclair Ferguson.  Well, Willie made an impact on me too.

Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

There's nothing like my annual alumnus magazine to make me feel a failure.  This year, I read that one of my contemporaries was Rachel Weisz's boyfriend (!!!); and that two other alumni are responsible for those pillars of cutting-edge literary culture, `C**p Towns' and `C**p Towns II' (!!!!), identifying the worst places in Britain to live (my guess is that Luton and Basingstoke must feature pretty heavily.....).  With cultural competition like that, I have only the fact that I'm not Welsh to stop me feeling like a total waste of space.

On a more serious note, I note the death of another contemporary in the obituray column of the magazine.  I remember hearing a sermon at college where the preacher, in a vain effort to persuade a bunch of nineteen years olds of their mortality, told us all to read the obits column of our alumni magazines every year.  Sooner or later, he said, we would see the truth of our own mortality reflected in the ever-increasing numbers of our contemporaries who die.  Today's one of those days, I guess, when I am reminded not simply of my own failure, but of the failure of humanity as a whole; and then of the one who brings success paradoxically, through his failure,of the one who brings salvation not from death, but through death.

Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

Two recommendations:

Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

I saw the new Bond movie at the weekend.  Nothing like it to make me proud to be English.  After all, it just couldn't be done by, say, the Welsh.  `The name's ap-Llymrys Jones, Gwynfor ap-Llymrys Jones' just doesn't cut it frankly.

Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

For those interested, Ian Glover sent me the actual text about the Scottish minister who was so ungrateful:

  1. Letter   addressed to Rev Robert [?], Kirkintilloch, by [Rev] Finlay Stewart November 9th 1813.
  2. (Letter addressed to members of Presbytery calling to thanksgiving for good summer and harvest … also calling to humiliation and fasting for ingratitude to God for his unspeakable goodness … [Note  further comment: “I hope you will receive this in time so that you will not have it in your power to present Finlay Stark’s excuse if you do not keep the thanksgiving, namely that you have nothing to say”.].)

Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

Given the question on the blog, I'm reminded of an anecdote my good pal, Rev Ian Glover, told me recently.  When doing archival work in Edinburgh, he came across one Scottish minister (whether 18th or 19th century, I cannot remember) who had refused to participate in a day of prayer and thanksgiving because he had `nothing to be thankful for.'  Now, if he'd been one of Del's countrymen, I could understand his problem; but this ungrateful wretch was Scottish, for goodness sake!

Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

Cards on the table -- like Derek, I know Stephen Williams.  He was my predecessor in the editorial chair at Themelios and, when I took over, memorably told me it was like `selling a second hand car to a friend'.  Enough said.  I have also really appreciated his writings on philosophers such as Locke and, especially, Nietzsche, over the years -- and his latest is outstanding. 

The question he posed to Del-Boy is a fascinating one, typically simple yet typically complex and profound.

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

The Who played Philly on Saturday night.  America may have the greatest rock poets in Dylan and The Boss, but England (Wales strangely absent, Del-Boy....) still has the greatest live rock band in the world.

Posted on Friday, November 24, 2006 by Carl Trueman on Postcards from Palookaville

Terry Eagleton's review of Richard Dawkins' latest book is well worth a read, demonstrating that it isn't just orthodox Christians who struggle with RD's portrayal of religion.  TE is one of the funniest and sharpest literary critics around, a former Catholic who was a close friend of Herbert McCabe, a leading English Dominican.  His autobiography, `The Gatekeeper' is (I think) one of the funniest books ever written.  Check out the review at:
www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/eagl01_.html     The last line is priceless.