Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Heaven Misplaced

I just finished the new book Heaven Misplaced, by Douglas Wilson. It's a very unusual sort of book to read: a theology book that sets out to convince the reader of the beauty, rather than the truth, of its propositions. Not that Doug Wilson is uninterested in truth. Quite the contrary. He writes, "He [Tolkien] was once asked whether he believed that Middle Earth was real. His reply was, 'One hopes.' Even a work of fiction, if it is compelling enough, can awaken a deep desire for it to have been true. So here is my proposal. There are many Christians who believe that the future of our world (prior to the Second Coming) is bleak indeed. I am asking them to read this little book as though it were a work of fiction. Just for a short while, I am asking for that willing suspension of disbelief. And if that request is granted, then I believe that a striking feature of this kind of historical optimism will become plain. Every Christian can agree on one thing at least. Wouldn't it be glorious if this really were true?"

There are many wonderful books on Postmillennial eschatology that beat the reader over the head with verses and evidence to show the truth of the position. Doug is attempting, not to do away with such books, but to show the beauty that is often left behind in those sorts of books. Not only is this way of thinking true, but even if you don't agree with it, you have to admit that it is a beautiful story and wish that it could be true.

This is a short book and for those already versed in postmillennialsism it shouldn't present many surprises. But I recommend it as a nice refresher for those who have lost the vision or forgotten how one's theology of Christ's kingdom affects the way we live our lives as Christians. It would also be good to give to any pessimistic friends who have been left behind in premillennialism or amillennialism.