Monday, August 31, 2015

Blog & Mablog, culture wars, and the joy of battle

"In the spirit of Rachel Dolezal’s spray tan, and Bruce Jenner’s lipstick,
I propose this simple reversal of color as a way of moving forward . . ."

Doug Wilson, "And Then Swash Some More" (Blog & Mablog, August 1, 2015):
C.S. Lewis says somewhere that if war is ever lawful for a Christian, and it is, then the martial spirit is also lawful. There are times when the spirit of war descends, and in a lawful cause there are few things more exhilarating.
Consider what an eventful few months we have had. On April 24, Bruce Jenner attained unto girlhood. On June 16, Rachel Dolezal grew into her spray tan. Then on June 17 we had the Charleston shooting and subsequent uproar over the Confederate battle flag — a symbol for sober heads of states’ rights. Then just a few days later, on June 26, the SCOTUS beclowned itself an egregious assault on those very same states rights, not to mention Biology 101. And then somewhere in there some enlightened brass in the military started talking about a transgendered fighting force, I mean, what could go wrong there? Then in early July the first eucatastrophic torpedo from CMP landed amidships at Planned Parenthood. Now none of this means that God wants us to stop fighting. But it very plainly means that He wants us to be happy.

Speaking of triumphalism, this is related to triumph. And in Scripture, it is bad when the wicked triumph, and it is good when the righteous do. “Lord, How long shall the wicked, How long shall the wicked triumph?” (Ps. 94:3). Good question, and we should pray that question more. “Moab is my washpot; Over Edom will I cast out my shoe; Over Philistia will I triumph” (Ps. 08:9). But isn’t saying that Moab is your washpot kind of trash-talking, kind of taunting? Isn’t it kind of like saying we are going to scale their city walls and then slap their mamas?

C.S. Lewis mentions that this spirit of battle joy is part of how Chesterton made a conquest of him.

“The sword glitters not because the swordsman set out to make it glitter but because he is fighting for his life and therefore moving it very quickly” (Surprised by Joy, p.191).

Winning, triumph, does present its spiritual challenges. We should consider them thoughtfully if and when we get there. But for the time being we have better things to do . . . like fighting. Like fighting all in. We must fight, and not like a grim-faced, moralistic thug either. We must fight like cavaliers. We must swash and we must buckle, and then we must swash some more.
 [Hat tip to JM]