Friday, August 24, 2007

Going on Vacation With the Family, and Lloyd Jones

The Dow's returned from our first (brief) family vacation since our youngest son Jack, who will be three in November, was growing in him mom's womb. Yes, we do get out of the house, but "traveling" generally entails heading home to see family.

The last few weeks have been a bit trying, so it was good to get away. My wife's brother died in a freak car accident, our van was hit while parked by a hit-and-run driver, I was rear-ended in my car and we lost power for 20 hours. That last part doesn't sound so bad except our sump pump wasn't working. Fortunately, the flooding was relegated to the unfinished portion of the basement and did not impact our school area.

Anyway, we went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, a shrine for redneck Christians and bikers everywhere. It's a strange place. A temple to the god of consumerism where you can attend First Baptist church and then waddle next door for a little body art.

You can also, however, hike in beautiful locales, ride horses, do a bit of fishing and be entertained round-the-clock. We kept fairly busy. The older boys enjoyed their very first horseback riding experience with mom while dad kept Jack in toe. We also went hiking. I was nervous for most of the walk given the nearness of the gorge below to the path we were treading.

Suburban weenie that I am, I haven't taught my children to be rugged outdoorsy-type (I'm like Homer in the 'Simpson's' edisode where he takes the family camping), but Andrew and I did manage to catch a number of fish. We also went to see a very fine magic show, not usually my forte, either. There were a few relatively expensive duds, too. Going to tourist traps can certainly be an exercise in highway robbery, but I already knew that man is a sinner.

In any case, hopefully I'll put some pictures up later, but I did get to stroll through a very large bookstore where I procured some good stuff by R. C. Sproul, John Stott, D. A. Carson and a number of other reputable evangelical scholars. For some reason, I didn't find any good Catholic commentaries.

On the way home, I began reading "Why Does God Allow War?", a book by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the longtime minister of Westminster Chapel in London. The book was originally written at the start of WWII and sought to discuss issues of suffering and war. It is a decent book. After all, Lloyd Jones was one of the great biblical expositors of the 20th Century.

However, the book contained a forward by John MacArthur and was published in May, 2003. In short, Crossway publishing pumped the book out as a piece of propaganda designed to con Christians into supporting the (unjust) war in Iraq.

There in the heart of red-state, God-fearing America, I saw "Bush-Cheney" bumperstickers all around and could still purchase this and this at every book-nook in town. Nothing like being among God's people.


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