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Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 When Handel’s “Messiah”—possibly the greatest musical expression of the Christian faith ever composed, whose libretto is nothing but Scripture and whose score is often the most perfect acoustic commentary on that text imaginable—was premiered, there were Christians who boycotted and protested it because it was first performed in a “secular” auditorium and not in a church.

Yes, we were that stupid.

Yes, some of us still are.

HANDEL’S “MESSIAH”

Premiered, Dublin, 1742

The pious found a way to be offended:

God’s Word sung in a public Music Hall!

It truly was a venue to appall,

Incapable of being comprehended.

Why, vulgar entertainments there were vended,

With doors thrown open wide to one and all.

To mix the Gospel with such folderol?

An error that could hardly be amended!

 

And what would these blasphemers think of next,

So careless of the Church’s reputation?

Why not associate with sinners?  Why,

You might as well proclaim the Sacred Text

Of God’s pure Kingdom and His great salvation

Out on a hillside underneath the sky.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

The Book
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282

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

The title of this poem is an oxymoron.  That’s the point.

Jacques Derrida–the Father of PoMo

THE LOGIC OF POST-MODERNISM

“Logic’s nothing but a verbal trick,”

Post-Modern thinkers often like to claim.

They work quite hard to make that judgment stick.

All those who don’t agree are simply thick,

Incompetent to play the language game

Where logic’s nothing but a verbal trick.

It’s all a plot by Dead White Males to kick

Non-Westerners and keep them meek and tame?

Well, that’s one way to make their judgment stick.

“Is there a Text in this class?”  Don’t be quick

To ask if there’s a prof to ask the same,

For logic’s nothing but a verbal trick.

All truth is surreptitious rhetoric,

For words call only other words by name;

The will to power makes this judgment stick!

You say it all sounds just a bit too slick?

Shh!  Shh!  Don’t give the game away—for shame!

If Logic’s nothing but a verbal trick,

What logic then can make that judgment stick?

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

281

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

“STARRY NIGHT”

At the High Museum of Art, Atlanta

On Loan from MOMA

Van Gogh, Self-Portrait

He fought the demons with a tube of paint,

With knife and brush to joust—cut, thrust, and parry.

Each stroke was life or death:  to drive and harry

Unceasing the dark foe, for once to faint

Would yield to black despair, the old complaint.

Rejected artist, preacher, missionary

Was more rejection than one man could carry.

In a better church, he might have been a saint.

 

So still the starlight pierces as it swirls

Above the silent hills and sleeping town

Behind the cypress writhing in the wind.

Again the heart its fierce defiance hurls,

In swaths of yellow, blue, and green, and brown

Carves out one hour of peace before the end.

Remember: for more poetry like this, look for  Stars Through the Clouds, 2nd ed., coming before Christmas from Lantern Hollow Press! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

280

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.” 

It never gets old.

NEW EVERY MORNING

Scarlet fading into lavender,

Backed with royal purple, rich and deep;

The sharp horizon fades into a blur

As imperceptibly as colors creep

Toward blackness lined with gray, while in the steep

Vault above, the brightness of the moon

And stars dissuades us yet awhile from sleep.

Yes, this is how the sun declines from noon.

And now the stars ride overhead, but soon

They too will fade.  The cycle’s never ceased:

New variations on an ancient tune,

Still new each morning.  Slowly, in the East,

Rich reds and purples grow within the gray,

A prelude to the glad reprise of Day.

Remember: for more poetry like this, look for  Stars Through the Clouds, 2nd ed., coming before Christmas from Lantern Hollow Press! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEWS SELF ON NEW BOOK

Donald T. Williams, The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019), $12.95, 139 pp., pbk.

ME: I’m going to interview myself? How does that work?

MYSELF: You ask yourself questions and then try to answer them.

ME: OK, tell me about this new book. Why do we need one more popular book on apologetics?

Dr. Williams Proclaiming the Gospel

MYSELF: Because the landscape keeps changing. The truth of the Gospel remains the same, but the questions we have to be prepared to answer in order to get a hearing for it shift. When I was young we only had to mount a straightforward defense of the Bible’s truthfulness. Now you still have to deal with that, but today’s skeptics are much more likely not to care about the Bible’s historical accuracy because they are convinced that it is an immoral book. It supports genocide, racism, slavery, male chauvinism, homophobia, etc. in their eyes. You’re not so much naïve if you base your life on it as immoral! I find that many Christian young people, even those who are interested in apologetics and can defend the Bible from the old charges, get caught flat-footed by some of these new challenges.

ME: Who is the audience for this book?

MYSELF: Christian young people first of all: high-school and college students who want help in answering the questions that come from their secular friends, or who are troubled by those questions themselves. Then, just as importantly, those who work with those Christian young people: Youth leaders, pastors, and parents.  It could serve as a textbook in a senior high-level apologetics class in a Christian school or for a college-level apologetic class as well. I tried to write it in such a way that it will be accessible to questioning youth but edifying and useful to those who are older. Some at least of both groups think I succeeded.

ME: What are some of the questions you deal with?

MYSELF: Each chapter title is a question we need to be prepared to answer if we are going to give a reason for the hope that is in us effectively today. I start with the most basic questions: Why should we believe the bible and why should we believe that Jesus rose from the dead to substantiate His claim to be the Messiah? It turns out that each of those answers is the key to the other. Then we look at questions about the nature of the Bible and how we relate to it. How for example do we know which books belong in it? Then we move to questions about how modern (or post-modern) people can believe in a religion that claims to have absolute truth and a supernatural God. Finally we deal with those aspects of the Bible’s teaching that strike our contemporaries as positively evil. What does the Bible really teach about racism, sexism, etc.? The answers may be shocking to bot h its friends and its enemies, but they are the only path to real human thriving because they come from the God who made us and gave us purpose.

Dr. Williams Answering Questions

ME: What do you want people to get out of this book?

MYSELF: I want them to believe in Jesus with new confidence, love Him with new fervency, and share Him with new boldness, to the glory of God.

ME: How can people get ahold of this book?

MYSELF: The easiest way is through Amazon. Here are the links:

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VFR66Z4

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1949586898

The Book