Today is my first day back after a few weeks of summer vacation — and it was a good one.  Our family spent a few weeks away in Nova Scotia.  What a quiet, beautiful part of Canada!  Then I spent a weekend in Edmonton for my 20 year class reunion.  That was also an enjoyable time.

Over my vacation, I did some reading.  George Marsden’s epic biography of Jonathan Edwards was remarkable.  I loved it.  I think it’s time to start reading some Edwards.  I also started reading John Updike’s novel Roger’s Version.  Unfortunately, it soon degenerated into pornographic smut and so I didn’t finish it.  Not recommended.  Much better was David Gessner’s Soaring with Fidel.  I enjoy birding and I love reading travelogues and this book deftly combines the two.

I also watched The Geneva Reformer: John Calvin.  I was hoping to be able to use this with one of my catechism classes this coming year.  What a disappointment!  If I were to show this to my catechism students, I would likely turn them off from church history forever.  There are not only concerns about the presentation style, but also the content.  The presenter, Dr. Gary Crampton, used to be a Presbyterian pastor, but turned Baptist some years ago.  Hence, we hear that the London Baptist Confession of 1689 is “a solidly biblical confession.”  I don’t think Calvin would agree.  Anyway, if you’re ever tempted to pick this one up, take my advice and pass on it.  It’s not worth it.

3 responses to “A Great Summer!”

  1. Tom Skerritt says:

    I decided to pick up the Edwards bio again. Glad to hear you’re back in the saddle!

  2. John says:

    Wes, I too have read some John Updike. His early work was often good, though I’ve always found his prose a bit too … hmm … I don’t have a word for it. Fussy, maybe? All of his characters, narrators, etc., speak the same way he writes, and it’s a bit much.

    Recently, I read David Foster Wallace’s essay on Updike in his book Consider the Lobster, and I thought it was spot on. Here’s the earlier version of it, for your enjoyment:

    John Barach

  3. John says:

    I should hasten to add that the essay, while I believe it’s on target, contains some strong language, especially when quoting Updike.

    John Barach

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