Wednesday, 3 July 2013

chatty wee post

OK. Amidst the serious stuff, here is a "chatty wee post" to anyone who cares to read. I'm off this week and next week on summer holidays and just footerin' around. Footerin' around, to those who had the misfortune to be born outside of Ulster, is an Ulster Scots word that means doing nothing in particular, but staying above boredom. Someone usually footers around a garden shed, for example.

Went out today to John Gowan's bookshop in the backwoods of Co. Fermanagh. John is related to my wife and a real bibliophile. He has about 40,000 books, mostly secondhand and mostly (but not exclusively) Christian for sale. Although he is Reformed and A Mill like myself, he has a vast range of books right across the Evangelical spectrum. The last time I was out, around Christmas, I picked up a new copy of Beeke's Puritan Theology. I am nearly half way through this huge volume. Today I held the purse strings somewhat tighter, and picked up 4 books for £8.00. John had a bargain bucket going today. He picked up the library of a deceased Baptist pastor recently who liked to mark his books a lot as he read them. Unfortunately, not merely underlining or # putting something of a # on the side of any suitable passage, #  but drew a circle type scribble over the paragraph or sentence in question. Unfortunately, this tended to look something like a child's scribble and greatly reduces the value of a book. John was selling books normally priced at around £6.00 for about £2.00. Which is fine if you only want these books for reference. The previous owner held some weird and strange views on the Lord's return i.e. he was a Dispensationalist ;o) which gave us a fair share of Ironside and other similar writers. He also avidly read the Puritans (where the "real meat is" as I tell my adoring fans on Twitter) and had many of the SDG reprints, but these were not marked in any way. Some of the books were 3 for £5.00 or 6 for £5.00 depending on the size and covering of the book. I have been collecting books for 35 years now and I already owned many of the bargain books. Anyway, another problem I have is with space for books. Every shelf is full and some of them have double rows.

I picked up Lorraine Boettner on The Millennium which should be interesting. Boettner is a Post Mill. I must hand it to the Post Mills on this and say that they have the most optimistic view of life. Whether this optimism has Scriptural warrant is another matter and that's what counts. On the other side of the spectrum, I bought J. Sidlow Baxter's Strategic Grasp of the Scripture which has a whole chunk on the Dispensational approach. With no disrespect, but had this book not have been greatly reduced, I certainly would not have paid much more than what I did for it. However, I have great respect for Baxter (read his biography a few years ago) and will give him a fair reading. I also picked up Understanding the Times by David A. Noebel which deals with the various worldviews out there. I bought it partly because it had originally been sold by the Tabernacle Bookshop in London and they are usually discerning in the quality of their book list. 

Last and definitely least, I bought my own copy of .... {roll drums} ... Dave Hunt's What Love is This? which is his scholarly examination crude hatchet job on Calvinism. I read someone elses copy of this book a few years ago. I think it was the cheapest of all the books I bought, and the only one bearing the scribble marks mentioned above. Between his prophetic guessing games and then this production, needless to say, I never really put Hunt on my list of must haves. I think he had the auctioneer's gift of making rubbish look good. Anyway, it now sits on my shelf where it can't do any harm.

So that's my day so far. Tomorrow, I'm taking my 10 year son to the Mellon Folk Park for the American Independence Day celebrations in which the Scots Irish Presbyterians (the Ulster Scots) played such an important role. A few years ago, I read James Webb's great book: "Born Fighting. How the Scots-Irish Shaped America" I really must take it down and read it all again. It was thrilling stuff. That's the trouble, isn't it? So many books, so little time... 

Must run on as we are 3 minutes past 3 o'clock in the afternoon here. A wee drink o' coffee wud dae a world o' guid!  

Haste ye back! Fair fa' ye! 


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