Friday, 21 March 2014


Another one of these chatty wee posts. The Presbyterians in Enniskillen have opened up a charity shop. It only opens on a Friday - a day when I am seldom in town. But today was different. So in I went. It is a pretty big shop with plenty of stuff. But especially books. 

All kinds of books, including modern illicit sex centred novels which is hardly in keeping with a church based shop. I saw too some packets of playing cards which reminded me of my childhood days. I did not grow up in a Christian home, yet even there the standard pack of cards were banned and known as "Devil's cards". But anyway, I am typing here as my thoughts come and I want to get the negative out of the way first.

I bought a few books which were all reasonably priced. I got a large print Gideon hardback copy of the NT and Psalms in the AV in mint condition. I also picked up the EP series "Bitesize Biographies" bio of Francis Schaeffer. TBH, Schaeffer is not a man I know that much about. A few weeks ago, I read his very short paperback "Escape from reason" which was a very broad sweep through some anti God philosophies. I said at the time, that I would need to read it again. I got a sense of its greatness, but it was like one of those super balls made of compressed rubber  that had so much energy compacted into such a small space. I also picked up his books "The New Super-Spirituality" (44pp) and "Death In The City" (127pp). They had  "Escape from reason" too, but no point doubling up. Book space is at a premium in our house. It's not that I don't read them, but I tend to buy more than I actually read, so the deficit is growing.  BTW: Schaeffer's son, Frankie, joined the Eastern Orthodox church a few years ago and claimed his father would have too. Bearing in mind that the Easterns have been a round more than the last 20 years, this claim is a bit rich.
I finished off my book buying with JI Packer's "Fundamentalism and the word of God" which I had at one time, but (I think) let it go unread. To be somewhat negative again, Packer basically annoys me with his ecumenism and pro Rome stance (He needs to learn to say "No!" when it is proper to say "No!") but his writings are generally Protestant and good. Alan Cairns produced a small book a few years ago on Neo Orthodoxy and took exception to some position Packer expressed in this book, but I can't remember what. When I get round to reading it, I'll do so with care. I suppose that needs ultimately to be said of all books. 

Packer once used an interesting phrase which I liked. He said that he was fond of "pregnant brevity" (and joked: "Packer by name and packer by nature") which reminded me of Twitter.

This is my day off. My wife is working this afternoon and this gives me time to pursue a little discussion with a Baptist Twitter friend on Baptists and Protestants. Having said that, I certainly don't want square eyes looking at a computer screen for the next few hours.

Time for afternoon coffee. Keep in touch...



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