Saturday, 31 October 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Chief Superintendent Strange is trying to comfort Inspector Phillotson, who’s just lost his wife. Strange is surprised when Phillotson tells him he’s just received a comforting letter from Inspector Morse.
* * * * *
“I can’t imagine him being much comfort to anybody”, said Strange. “He’s a pagan, you know that. Got no time for the Church and… hope and faith and all that stuff. Doesn’t even believe in God, let alone in any sort of life after death”.
“Bit like some of our Bishops”, said Phillotson sadly.
“Like some of our Theology dons in
Monday, 26 October 2009
"Be right with you, honey. Who?"
The Bedouin was standing across the road from her husband, having apparently walked out from between two dunes. One minute he was not there, the next he was.
"Dunno", Ray Walker said. "Guess not. But don't get too close. Probably got fleas. I'll get the engine started. You take a quick picture and if he gets nasty jump right in. Fast."
Maybelle Walker took several steps forward and held up her camera. "May I take your picture?" she asked. "Camera? Picture? Click-click? For my album back home?"
The man just stood and stared at her. His once-white djellaba, stained and dusty, dropped from his shoulders to the sand at his feet. What little skin of forehead and eye sockets she could see was burned brown by the desert.
She raised her camera. The man did not move. She squinted through the aperture, wondering if she could make the car in time should the Arab come running at her. Click.
"Thank you very much", she said. Still he did not move. She backed towards the car, smiling brightly. Always smile, she recalled the Reader's Digest once advising Americans confronted by someone who cannot understand English.
"Honey, get in the car", her husband shouted. "It's all right, I think he's OK", she said, opening the door. Ray Walker's hand reached out and hauled her into the car, which screeched away from the roadside.
The Arab watched them go, shrugged, and walked behind the sand dune where he had parked his own sand-camouflaged Land Rover. In a few seconds he, too, drove off in the direction of Abu Dhabi.
* * * * *
Frederick Forsyth, The Fist of God, pages 40-41. Some sections omitted because they're redundant to the humour & text altered slightly to flow smoothly.
Incidentally: the 'Bedouin' turns out to be Major Mike Martin of the Special Air Service - a British army officer.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
Friday, 16 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Monday, 12 October 2009
* * * * *
[Darius, slave to the great god Mammon, boasts of his exploits to his master:]
It is I who, for the world, conduct the great takeovers, construct an even bigger empire of mergers and investments. It is I who destroy the weak and the helpless, rejoicing in the pleas. It is I who raise the rents in the slum tenements, order the clearances of the homes and schools for factories and marshaling yards. It is I who suborn and bribe the city officials to ensure their compliance. It is I who sign the purchase orders for great stakes of shares and blocks of stock in the rising industries across the country.
[And Mammon replies, speaking of Darius' benefactor Erik:]
Rarely does one come across a true genius in the matter of gold. He is such a one, and more besides. Inspired only by hatred of Man, guided by you in my service, he is not simply a wealth-creating genius but immune to scruple, principle, mercy, pity, compassion, and, most important of all, like you, immune to love. A human tool to dream of. [...] All the kingdoms of the world was the phrase I used once, to another. To you, all the financial empire of America.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Monday, 5 October 2009
Christian Books Australia have a number of excellent books on Calvin. I personally recommend:
- The AGES Software Calvin Collection - incl. both English translations of Institutes, as well as sermons and a selection of tracts;
- Joel Beeke, The Quest for Full Assurance - examines how Calvin, the Puritans and Dutch Reformers understood assurance, and argues for basic continuity between them;
- David Hall, The Legacy of John Calvin - a simple overview of Calvin's influence over the last 500 years;
- Paul Helm, Calvin and the Calvinists - in response to R. T. Kendall's Calvin and English Calvinism, Helm argues that English Puritan theology is consistent with Calvin's, and does not have the negative pastoral impacts Kendall accuses English Puritanism of;
- Susan Schreiner, Theater of His Glory: Nature and the Natural Order in the Thought of John Calvin - looks at Calvin's 'natural theology';
The other books are probably great too, but I haven't read them so I can't comment on them.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
* * * * *
"How about you?" [Carmel asked,] "How do you justify all this stuff?"
"I'm kind of religious, I guess", Rinker said.
"Yeah. I don't think really happens in this world that isn't part of God's plan. And if God wants somebody to die, now, if that's that person's fate, I can't say no."
"So you're just what... the finger of God?"
"I wouldn't put it exactly that way. It sounds too... vain, I guess. Too important. But what I do is God's will."
* * * * *
Friday, 2 October 2009
Thursday, 1 October 2009
This was drawn by six-year-old Sam:
And this by three-year-old Isaac, with, I suspect, parental assistance: