The Broken Way

Ann Voskamp's style is hard for some people to take. Her books are prose poetry, and those who are interested in a strictly academic systematic theology will be disappointed. I find that her writing style is the most common criticism by people who don't like her books. I, however, love the way she writes. It's like an amalgam of T.S. Eliot and Bonhoeffer.

Another criticism I've heard of Voskamp is that her theology is heretical mysticism that perverts the gospel. I read one "discernment" blogger saying that she could hear the whispering of the serpent through Ann Voskamp's writing. I honestly don't get this one at all. I didn't find any trace of bad doctrine in this book at all. Maybe she emphasizes things in a different way than I would, maybe she uses non-standard theological vocabulary, but what she is presenting here is a pretty solid theology of suffering such as Martin Luther would have undoubtedly approved. She's also probably more well…

Happy 140th Gilbert!

Well, it's G. K. Chesterton's 140th Birthday, and also the day known in the Davis household as "Chesterton Day". For those who don't know, Chesterton was an artist, journalist, amateur theologian, poet, philosopher, playwright, and apologist. He wore a cape, carried a sword-cane, and kept a bar of chocolate in his pocket at all times. He was known for often sitting down in the middle of the sidewalk in London to draw pictures with chalk, dictating entire books with no revision or proofreading, and showing up two hours late for his own wedding: he explained to his wife that he had needed to stop on the way to the church to buy a pistol so that he could defend her from pirates on their honeymoon in Norfolk. He carried on lively public debates with atheists like George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, H.G. Wells, and even Clarence Darrow (of "Scopes Monkey Trial" fame).

In honor of the big man's b-day, I picked a couple of great quotes from him for you to chew on for a bit. Enjoy!

"To smatter the tongues of men and angels, to dabble in the dreadful sciences, to juggle with pillars and pyramids and toss up the planets like balls, this is that inner audacity and indifference which the human soul, like a conjurer catching oranges, must keep up forever. This is that insanely frivolous thing we call sanity... if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
-from What's Wrong With the World 

(A note on the above quote: In context, Chesterton is talking about mothers and why mothers need to have a broad, liberal arts education. It's a defense of the generalist over and against the specialist, of the amateur over the professional. Go ahead and read the whole essay. It's short.)

"Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. The latest fads of culture, the latest sophistries of anarchism will carry us away if we are uneducated; we shall not know how very old are all new ideas...The uneducated man will always care too much for complications, novelties, the fashion, the latest thing. The uneducated man will always be an intellectual dandy."
-from The Illustrated London News, Dec. 2, 1905