In fact, a lot of people have liked this book. And isn’t that all that matters? I mean, if you can write in a congenial autobiographical style that makes people feel good by telling them the kinds of things anyone would want to hear, if readers warm up to you the way kids would to a favorite uncle who intrigues them with views different from those of their parents, if you can effectively manipulate the emotional hooks in a story when truth and logic abandon you, does it really matter if your premises are faulty, your facts are few and far between, and the cover of your book is a tad misleading? So what if this book is less than the sum of its parts (much less, actually)! Why can’t we all just be open minded for a change, and if, in the process of opening our minds our brains fall out, so what? If God is bigger than our puny little brains, He shouldn’t care what’s in them, right? So let’s try putting the stuff Philip Gulley and James Mulholland have written in their book, If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (San Francisco, CA, USA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003) into them and see what happens. Continue reading
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things we do not know.
Bur there are also unknown unknowns.
The ones we don’t know we don’t know.
February 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
—Donald Rumsfeld, as versified by Hart Seely in Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld, (New York: Free Press, 2003), 2.
Today the world of New Testament scholarship mourns the passing of a true giant in that field, Dr. Bruce Metzger. He died yesterday at the age of 93. He was a translator of Scripture and a prolific author of significant scholarly texts. He made important contributions to our understandings of the canon of Scripture, its content, and its background. But he will go down in history for his vast labors in the unglamorous but essential field of the textual criticism of the New Testament.
One of the things I find a tad irritating about Beard and Cerf’s The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook (New York, NY, USA: Villard Books, updated edition 1993), is that it is actually four separate dictionaries bound in one volume, and it has no index. I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking that that’s actually two things to be irritated about. Well, when it comes to irritability, I’m a multitasker.
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
___We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
___ We wear the mask.
[Paul Laurence Dunbar, “We Wear the Mask,” in Selected African American Writing from 1760 to 1910, Arthur P. Davis, Jr., J. Sauders Redding, and Joyce Ann Joyce, editors, (New York: Bantam Books, 1991), 281-282.]