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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Theodore Dalrymple, possibly THE best writer of our time, recently wrote a piece in the City Journal entitled "What the New Atheists Don't See." In it, he reviews some of the recent books that have come out in praise of atheism (or in disdain of God, ironically enough). Dalrymple is himself not a believer, but does tend to be very gracious toward religions, especially Christianity. Mr. Dalrymple is at his best when he's dissecting another's arguments and refuting them. And here is no exception, tackling "Breaking the Spell," "The God Delusion," and "The End of Faith;" written by Dennett, Dawkins, and Harris, respectively. Since this column is quite long, I will let you read it for yourself in its entirety at the link above. However, I did want to point out a passage that Dalrymple quotes from Joseph Hall, a Christian bishop of Norwich in the 17th century. Hall's writing is titled "Upon the Sight of a Harlot Carted," and it entails an eloquent meditation on the spirit behind Christ's statement that the one without sin should cast the first stone.
With what noise, and tumult, and zeal of solemn justice, is this sin punished! The streets are not more full of beholders, than clamours. Every one strives to express his detestation of the fact, by some token of revenge: one casts mire, another water, another rotten eggs, upon the miserable offender. Neither, indeed, is she worthy of less: but, in the mean time, no man looks home to himself. It is no uncharity to say, that too many insult in this just punishment, who have deserved more. . . . Public sins have more shame; private may have more guilt. If the world cannot charge me of those, it is enough, that I can charge my soul of worse. Let others rejoice, in these public executions: let me pity the sins of others, and be humbled under the sense of my own.
May I be as gracious toward others and their sin as the Bishop Hall reminded himself to be nearly 400 years ago.


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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »