New Title?

After you enjoy the cartoon, I have to tell you a quick story.

Calvin's Institutes












A number of decades ago, before I was Reformed, I wanted to get a copy of Calvin’s Institutes, which I did not yet have. I was on the road and stopped in a Christian bookshop somewhere and asked if they had it. When I asked the question, this very thing happened to me. Years later, I was flipping through CT — back when I still did that — and came across this cartoon. “Nancy!” I said, “this exact thing happened to me.” Beyond coincidence, but I had no explanation. I was befuddled. But eventually I thought to look at who drew the cartoon. Ron Huggins drew it, a friend of mine, and all of a sudden the mystery didn’t seem so grand.

Job Opening . . .

We have a company here in Moscow called EMSI that is a great place to work. They are now looking for an experienced accountant and a few web developers. If you are interested in following up on this, check it out here.

A Couple Shameless Plugs

So let me explain what happened. Some months ago, my CD player in my truck conked out. Nancy was kind enough to get me a new one for Christmas, which I then had installed. But in the meantime, a bunch of my Mars Hill Audio Journal CDs had backed up into a small pile, so I then went on a Ken Myer binge, which was fun, because in the middle of that, I went down to Monroe where he and I were both speaking at a conference together. Ah, a familiar voice. But, eventually I got caught up. Ken’s interviews are where I get many of my ideas for book purchases. So check it out, I tell you.

Also during this enforced-audio-hiatus-time, a former student sent me some samples of a project he and some others are working on — audio dramatizations of some of G.A. Henty’s books. So I just finished listening to their production of Under Drake’s Flag, and highly recommend it to any of you who have kids who like to have adventures while riding in the car. These productions values are high, and they got some real pros reading the parts. For just one example, Brian Blessed reads the part of Henty, and lots of action swirls around him. Check these out too.

Drake's Flag

Basic Christian Living

This coming semester I am going to be teaching an elective at Logos School on practical Christianity. The students will be using a workbook I put together, Basic Christian Living, and which Canon has just published. There are short teaching sections interspersed throughout, along with questions and Scripture references to look up to answer the questions.Basic Christian Living

There are chapters on worship, confession of sin, restitution, contentment, and so on. The point of the book is to help Christian young people learn the basics of Christian holiness. If you are in a position where you want to help a person in such a situation, take a look.

My Seventies Bride

I have recently been uploading family photos and organizing them via Evernote — which I heartily recommend by the way — and I came across this one. It is one of my favorite pictures of Nancy, taken as a snap by a friend as her Dad was walking her up the aisle. Some day, if I am feeling up to it, I will show you a pic of what she, for some mysterious reason, was walking toward.


One of my favorite pictures of Nancy, taken as a snap by a friend as her dad walked her down the aisle.

Still Living Out of Boxes . . .

You are a long-suffering bunch, and this is certainly to be commended. I have been messing around computer-wise for a number of months, and the effects have been clearly visible, some of them mud-fence ugly visible. I wanted to take this moment to praise you, and for not swearing at me in the comments.

I also wanted to explain. So let me explain a little bit. I am a technoramus, and I can only learn my way through computer stuff if I labor heavily, with beads of sweat on my brow, and with my tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth. In some fields of knowledge, I read or hear something and the datum that I just read or heard has little bits of velcro all over it, as does certain parts of my brain, and — ta-da! — that information will be readily available to me until the day I die. I have control over some of this, and no control at all when it comes to other aspects of it. Why do you build me up, build me up, Buttercup, baby, just to let me down, let me down, mess me around, and then worst of all, worst of all, you never call baby when you say you will, say you will, but I love you still, I need you, I need you, more than anyone . . .

When it comes to other kinds of knowledge, I can do it, but no longer with velcro brains.

Another distant ancestor is not amused at my forays into caricature.

Another distant ancestor is not amused at my forays into caricature.

No, now  it is teflon brains. Nothing sticks. Mechanical knowledge is like that for me. I have done serious engine work on some of our cars before, and have figured it out, but I have a high level of assurance that if I had to do the same thing over again a couple months later, my mind would be the acme of Locke’s tabula rasa, worth preserving in a jar on some philosopher’s desk. Wood isn’t like that. When I learn how to do something in carpentry, I remember how to do it. Which brings us to the painful subject of ones and zeros.

This whole field bewilders me. I am a tyro, an abecedarian, a mere colt, a rookie, a neophyte, a greenhorn. I have been at it for years, and am still regularly flattened by this stuff. This is is not to say there has been absolutely no progress — for I have detected some movement, some unbending of the programmers, in the direction of user friendliness.  In other words, I don’t think I am gaining on it, I think some senior executives in the business world have laid down the law to the programmers, and told them that idiots are a potential customer base as well.

A Meander Through My Reading Habits

I recently got a question in the comments here about my reading habits, and thought it might be fun to take a meander through my library, pointing out objects of interest as I go. File this one under autobiographical fragments.

I liked books as a kid, but simply read in pursuit of my interests. Those interests were shaped by the reading our family did together, which is where I found my love for Lewis. Dad started reading Narnia to us when I was about five. The only jag I recall was somewhere near the junior high years, and it was a science fiction jag — that is where I got my Heinlein in. I also remember reading Aku Aku by Thor Heyerdahl when I was in 6th grade. I was in high school when I first got into Tolkien, egged on by my mother. Around the same time, I also stumbled across Up From Liberalism by William Buckley, and my course of political education began there.

When I was in the Navy, I think I read a lot of fiction. I wasn’t building a library because submarines and barracks aren’t conducive to it, but I would pick out whatever seemed interesting from the common shelves. I was buying some books to keep — A.W. Tozer and J.I. Packer were there, I recall.

I got out of the Navy in 1975 and started in on my philosophy work at the University of Idaho. In addition to school reading, I remember discovering Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, which was for me a lifeline of sanity. When I was done with school, I also had by that point become, as it happened, the pastor of a small Jesus people-like outfit, and was not in a position to get away for any real seminary training. I did manage to get one set of summer classes at Regent in Vancouver, where I had a class on the atonement by Leon Morris, and a course on the book of Acts taught by John Stott.

But I was more or less done with schoolwork, and had a bunch of pastoral responsibilities, and so I decided I would have to do the OJT stuff simply by reading.