A Selection from John Donne

This is only a portion of his La Corona, but I always like to read it at this time of year:

LA CORONA.


I.
Deign at my hands this crown of prayer and praise,
Weaved in my lone devout melancholy,
Thou which of good hast, yea, art treasury,
All changing unchanged Ancient of days.
But do not with a vile crown of frail bays
Reward my Muse’s white sincerity ;
But what Thy thorny crown gain’d, that give me,
A crown of glory, which doth flower always.
The ends crown our works, but Thou crown’st our ends,
For at our ends begins our endless rest.
The first last end, now zealously possess’d,
With a strong sober thirst my soul attends.
‘Tis time that heart and voice be lifted high ;
Salvation to all that will is nigh.

2.

ANNUNCIATION.

Salvation to all that will is nigh ;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo ! faithful Virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb ; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He’ll wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death’s force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son, and Brother ;
Whom thou conceivest, conceived ; yea, thou art now
Thy Maker’s maker, and thy Father’s mother,
Thou hast light in dark, and shutt’st in little room
Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb.

3.

NATIVITY.

Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb,
Now leaves His well-beloved imprisonment.
There he hath made himself to his intent
Weak enough, now into our world to come.
But O !  for thee, for Him, hath th’ inn no room ?
Yet lay Him in this stall, and from th’ orient,
Stars, and wise men will travel to prevent
The effects of Herod’s jealous general doom.
See’st thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eye, how He
Which fills all place, yet none holds Him, doth lie ?
Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee ?
Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go,
With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe.

Me on the Radio

Through an interesting occurrence of theo-blog networking providence, I have been interviewed by Paul Butler of Moody Radio and will appear on his radio show this Monday at 4:20pm.

If you live in the Jackson area, you can hear me on 89.1 FM.  For anyone else who might be interested, you can check the Moody Radio website for station listings.  The station finder is on the left-hand sidebar on the front page.

The topic of the interview was cynicism, an interest sparked from my earlier open-ended question, of which I didn’t quite give an answer here.  My answer, in part of course (there’s never enough time!), will be given on the show.

I am very excited to be a participant in the show, but I will only occupy a brief portion of the show.  There are two other participants in the discussion, and I should say that I do not know them.  I’m sure they will be great, but I know how all you Presbyterians are out there.  Each person was interviewed separately, and I did not get a chance to interact with the other participants.  I’m also quite confident that Paul will edit out all the crazy stuff I said.

Still More Zachman

Just today I received the Zachman book on Calvin and RC, but I also happened to order this one as well and have read it first.

It is invaluable.  With essays on the failed Council of Florence, the integrity of Melanchthon, the catholicity of Calvin, and perhaps the most valuabe, the Reformed and Evangelical Irenics: Pareus, Drury, Calixtus, etc.

This is where it’s at.  You must all get this book and read it posthaste.

Joel Osteen Can Beat You Up

Reverend [Michael] Horton believes that Osteen tells only half the story of the Bible, focusing on the good news without talking about sin, suffering and redemption.

And Rev. Horton goes even further. He levels the harshest charge of all, calling the Osteen method of teaching heresy.

“It is certainly heresy, I believe, to say that God is our resource for getting our best life now,” Horton says.

“Because?” Pitts asks.

“Well, it makes religion about us instead of about God,” Horton explains.

But Osteen isn’t fazed at all by such criticisms. In fact, I think it is Horton who ought to be scared. The same articles concludes with:

You can see that same diligence in his workouts. Osteen can bench-press 300 lbs., which is twice his body weight. And on the basketball court, even in the simplest of pickup games, he is focused, determined and looking for help from above.

My own opinion is that while it is obvious Osteen has no business in the ministry and is only promoting a self-help humanism, it is difficult to view him as a bad guy. You really just can’t help but feel a mixture of sympathy and humor when Osteen speaks. He comes across a little dim-witted, to say the least. I’d always felt sorry for the cute little guy. He can’t really know what’s going on. Well, besides the money part.

But when I saw him bench 300 lbs., everything changed.

The world is a different place after you find out that Joel Osteen can beat you up.