Friday, October 27, 2006
It's a Friday afternoon, the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. I'm mentally exhausted from pounding away on a paper about Marx and Braudel, with a few revisions to go. I suppose now is as good a time as any to say this...
I'm closing this blog down.
It's been a nice run. I've been mentioned in a book (Hugh Hewitt's Blog), I've had a lot of hits (mostly during the 2004 election) and recieved some nice books to review. But life has caught up with me. My new wife and I spend loads of time with one another, but we need even more. I'm one semester away from a M.A. in History, getting ready to apply to PhD programs around the country. I guess I could say I've got bigger fish to fry than to blog here. The most successful blogs seem to be run by those folks who have already settled into a career. Perhaps I'll pick this back up when people call me Doctor.
Blogs have started to make my head hurt. If it ain't one thing, it's another. Teetotalism. Calvinism. Emerging. Conservatives. Liberals. Young Earth. Old Earth. Politics....blah blah blah. I'm not tired of it, but I'm tired ready blogs and getting angry at people I don't even know, who are probably really great folks and doing their best to serve God. So I've quit reading and I'm calling it quits.
Thanks for reading. All of you. I'm sorry to say that I'm pretty much through reading whatever you write. I'm picking up John Stott and Bill Buckley and David Sedaris and lots of academic junk and picking up a cup of joe.
You can find me and my pretty wife on the front porch. Ya'll take care.
You can still e-mail me, if you like, at matthew.stokesATua.edu
Monday, October 09, 2006
iMonk at the BHT passed along this moving piece by Ben Witherington III
concerning the Amish tragedy of last week. He has much good to say about the power of forgiveness and the need to turn the other cheek. But Dr. Witherington decides to also make an argument for pacifism, and I'm afraid he goes flat. In the comments, he speaks of diplomacy being the best option.
Diplomacy with whom? The United Nations? The same cesspool of corruption that found Sudan an adequate member of the Human Rights Commission? We've tried diplomacy with North Korea, and now they've tested a nuclear weapon. Does Dr. Witherington suggest we continue our diplomatic talks with the madman of Pyongyang? I won't go into it, but needless to say there are countless historical examples one could bring up when questioning this logic.
I must confess that foreign affairs is one area where, at times, I have questions of faith. How do the teachings of Jesus apply when faced with Hezbollah or Iran or North Korea or...you get the idea. I don't want to be a warmonger, but nor do I want to ignore the threats that we face in this new world. I'm afraid that pacifism, even Christian pacifism, isn't a sufficient answer.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Chuck Colson and friends have a wonderful new blog called the Point
. Here's one fine post
about the global AIDS crisis, and why it would be unwise for American Christians to throw their support behind any UN-led relief efforts.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Three quick hits:
1. I paid $1.99 for a gallon of gas today. Unreal. I haven't done that in over two years.
2. I attended a wonderful service at an ECUSA church today. Clear Scriptural teaching, orthodoxy everywhere and the Gospel was clear. I understand now why so many are reluctant to leave the mainlines; there are families who've spent years in these churches. They're reluctant to turn it over to a band of heretics. As well they should be. No more shall I pass by a mainline church - ECUSA, PCUSA or otherwise - and assume that the church is full of leftwing universalists. I'll write more on this later.
3. Lastly, I believe the time has come to quit defining my faith by what I am not. My faith is Christ is defined by Christ, and all else flows from that. Whatever I believe about secondary issues must be rationalized from Scripture, and I am do myself and my Lord no favors when I take Pharisaical pride in the notion that I'm not like them
. I feel sure that I must believe what I believe and let all other chips fall where they may.
Friday, September 29, 2006
I never thought I would be too busy to stop caring about politics, but apparently I am. We're just over a month away from a major midterm election and I'm pretty much apathetic about the whole affair. That may well change once I turn on NPR to hear references to Speaker Pelosi, but until then...wake me when it's over.This piece
by the iMonk did manage to get my dander up. I'll try to talk about it soon, because I'm having all kinds of issues here. But it begs a quesion that a friend and I discussed the other day. Why do American Christians funnel everything through politics?
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Al Mohler on the Benedict XVI and Islam issue.
I agree with everything Mohler has to say, which is in short: "The Pope's right but the Church teaching on Islam is muddled and the papacy isn't biblical in the first place."
The problem with Mohler's comments is that it takes him several paragraphs to get around to defending Ratzinger. He has to first explain why the papacy isn't Biblical and then he discusses the Church's lack of clarity. And he's right, but can't that wait? Just a few paragraphs? Mohler's an intelligent man, and I know he's far more willing to work with his Catholic brothers than a lot of conservative evangelicals would be. But Mohler does himself no favors when he can't defend the Pope - who's dead right on this issue - from his naysayers without first making sure that everyone knows that Catholic teaching is incorrect.
Just once I'd like to see the comments of a non-evangelical believer defended without so much qualification.
I promise promise promise that regular blogging shall soon commence.
A few things, though. A weird football season thus far. Lost is back in two weeks. Nick Drake is still brilliant. What is it like to enjoy the fall without being alone? All is well, all is well.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
tuesday morning. it's finally raining after months of sun sun sun. this apartment gets terribly dark even in the middle of the day, and i love that.
the paper is poor but finished. it's mozart in the morning and the velvet underground at noon. what will it be tonight? tom waits.
the imonk says can the ski trip and send the money to india
. i believe he's right.
i got married and it's all kinds of wonderful.