Nate has received his box of author’s copies of Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl, which means that I now have a published copy to read through and mark up. I have read it in manuscript in its various incarnations, but this is different. This is official.
The fact that my comments whooping this book can easily be dismissed as representing nothing more than paternal affection is a risk that must be taken. That’s me, living on the edge, seriously maintaining that this is an important book in many ways. One of the great blessings of my life is that God has given me three children who are wise, who see this sideways world sideways, and who are therefore constantly saying things that are right side up. As Nate put it in the dedication here, “For my sisters (who have always seen).” They really have, all three of them together.
This coming century is the time when Reformed theology is going to come into its own, at least here in North America. And in anticipation of this, we need to be preparing ourselves against the peculiar temptations that will come our way. If we must have Calvinism, as we must, let it at least be a Chestertonian Calvinism. This is the sunny demeanor that makes Calvinism tolerable and, for a certain kind of morose soul, doubly intolerable.
That said, here is the last teaser quote.
In For the Time Being, Annie Dillard attempts to keep God around and keep Him nice (if weepy). And so she (like many others) scraps omnipotence. “The very least likely things for which God might be responsible are what insurers call ‘acts of God.'”
Go that route. Katrina wasn’t Him. Nothing involving fault lines is Him. Stop looking at Him like that—He’s never so much as touched a tornado. He exists, and He’s friendly, but if you’re in some kind of trouble, you might just want to make a deal with the devil. Go to the man in charge, I always say. You can renege later, and you might get really good at the guitar in the meantime (p. 64).
The release date is almost upon us. Lovers of quirky truth need to be limbering up.