Let me catch you up. 2009 started out with a party (at 2640 & the Windup), as my lifelong friend, Keenan, was married. Friends and family are all happy that Rebecca is his wife. The bestman's toast I gave went something like this:
I've heard it said there are two kinds of love: the love of delight and the love of goodwill. We find each other delightful, but when that delight wanes we are resolved to continue behaving in the other's best interest. And marriage, among other things, is a sworn commitment to that effect, to will the other's good, even when there's less to delight in. We love Keenan and Rebecca, and we wish them the best. So here's to their mutual delight & goodwill, and a future of more joy than sorrow, more health than sickness, more plenty than want, more 'better' than 'worse'.photo credit
Slightly didactic, but concise --don't you think? I reproduce it here because I gave it a lot of thought, and by the time the bubbly was swallowed it is likely my composition was utterly forgotten by everyone.
Later in January my brother Jeffrey entered Clear Creek Monastery, near Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was a grievous occasion. Besides the fact that, being an old school Reformed Confessionalist, I believe Romanist doctrine and Monastic-ascetic piety are contrary to the gospel... besides all that, it's hard to lose contact with the person closest to me. From my vantage point, it's very similar to him serving a life sentence in prison. We write letters and I can visit him for a few hours once a year or so. But the shared experience of life is now over. I wasn't ready for that.
If you're a friend of Jeff, you can write him too:
Br. Anthony Baus
Clear Creek Monastery
5804 West Monastery Road
Hulbert OK 74441-5698
February offered some cheer. My librarian and I enjoyed a Valentinesday local café tour, including the Choc-O'-Latte in Millerstown and the Espresso Yourself in Newport. We had a good time at the combination Hunting Shop & Family Restaurant in Thompsontown, the name of which escapes me somehow. Middle Pennsylvania was made for day-tripping.
In March I attended a regional ETS conference, where James Skillen spoke about political responsibilities and social justice. The part that most stands out in my mind is when he implied that all a state's coercive actions must be legitimized by satisfying something like the criteria for Just War. This seems right to me, and the interesting thing about it is that such a view can hardly be squared with the idea that civil government has responsibility for "administrating" a broad 'public' sector. (This latter idea is already refuted on the basis of a properly conceived notion of societal sphere sovereignty, of course).
Perhaps Gideon Strauss will be in a position to take the CPJ in a new direction as its new President. One can only hope that he might read and be persuaded by the New York Time's Bestseller Meltdown by Tom Woods. Here's Woods on C-SPAN BookTV.
In other news, Darryl Hart, paradoxical Luddite that he is, now blogs at OldLife.org.
I enjoyed my 36th birthday in early May with dinner at Brasserie Louis (a fancy restaurant in Lewisburg) and a meditative stroll through Shamokin Cemetery (an exquisite graveyard on a sweeping hill, lying above a Tim Burton-esque coal mining town).
I'm leaving out a mention of an early Spring traffic citation incident. I have nothing redeeming to say about it, although I am certain that even suffering under tyranny is effectual unto my salvation.
G.K. Beale was recently hired by Westminster Philly. Listen to his lecture on Christology and Scriptural inerrancy here. View a video interview with Beale here.
And John Fesko was recently hired by Westminster California. Listen to an interview with him by the Reformed Forum on justification here.