I am very pleased to report that our inaugural meeting was well attended and thought provoking. A brief summary:
Andrew P. came out swinging with “God’s Grandeur” by G.M. Hopkins. Hopkins is my favourite poet for a number of reasons, including his explicitly Christian themes, so I was pleased when Andrew read the poem. Here it is
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Andrew drew attention in particular to Hopkins’ use of the word ‘nature’. There is a divine overtone to the word because nature has a “nature” that has been given to it by God, and thus God’s divinity can be clearly seen. Notice how the word ‘environment’ has usurped ‘nature’ in official discourse, probably because ‘environment’ is subjective and contextual, whereas ‘nature’ is a fixed entity that draws its ‘nature’ from the one who determined its particulars.
Lloyd G. was next and presented a hefty tome : “Reasonable Faith” by William Lane Craig. One highlight was Lloyd’s restatement of Craig’s argument for the veracity of miracles in the Bible. “The causer of a phenomenon can interact with, adjust, and even violate the characteristics of that phenomenon, given that the phenomenon is under the dominion of the causer.” Well said Lloyd !
I presented “That Hideous Strength” by C.S. Lewis. I greatly enjoyed this book, the dialogue Lewis puts in the characters’ mouths is an education on its own. He gives such lordly, ringing, beautiful phrases to the good guys, and ambiguous, euphemistic, long winded, painful sentences to the main antagonist.
“My dear young friend, the golden rule is very simple. There are only two errors which would be fatal to one placed in the peculiar situation which certain parts of your previous conduct have unfortunately created for you. On the one hand, anything like a lack of initiative or enterprise would be disastrous. On the other, the slightest approach to unauthorised action – anything which suggested that you were assuming a liberty of decision which, in all the circumstances, is not really yours – naught have consequences from which even I could not protect you. But as long as you keep quite clear of these two extremes, there is no reason (speaking unofficially) why you should not be perfectly safe.”
“The poison was brewed in these West lands but it has spat itself everywhere by now. However far you went you would find the machines, the crowded cities, the empty thrones, the false writings, the barren beds: men maddened with false promises and soured with true miseries, worshipping the iron works of their own hands, cut off from Earth their Mother and from the Father in Heaven. You might go East so far the East became West and you returned to Britain across the great Ocean, but even so you would not have come out anywhere into the light. The shadow of one dark wing is over all Tellus.”
Phil S. closed our session with some wisdom from Dave Ramsey, a financial advisor with several best selling books. Ramsay’s advice is tough but sensible. If you are in debt, work like a dog till you are out. Put some money into an stable investment every month and let the power of compound interest work for you. Above all, start young!
So the next club meeting will be August 10th @ 8pm. Same place. See you then