Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Junk theology and my head ache

For the sake of two paragraphs, I'm reading mounds of 18th and 19th theological speculation about probationism. This is giving me a headache. I think I'm just going to use a quotation from Butler's Analogy of Religion.

My heart isn't in it today. I don't even want to go teach my class. ... but I will. Afterwards, I'm going to the huge new and used bookstore and using up some of my credit. I also have a small pile of religous booklets to take in for credit. I got most of these in ebay lots. I bought a large lot of junk booklets to get an item or two from the lot. Most of this stuff is just awful. One is by a Baptist who favored chiropractic; it's entitled Spinal Adjustment in Southern Baptist Life. [Can you see me shrugging?] The truly nasty one in this bunch is also the most interesting. W. D. Herrstrom, a fundamentalist and anti-semetic writer, produced "The Difference Between Fundmentalism and Modernism." Probably the worst of the lot is a small booklet by "W. B. Dunkum, D.D., Evangelist." It's poorly written, junk theology; it's insipid.

These booklets are typical of the early to mid 20th century. Under-educated evangelists felt complelled to write. It didn't matter what they wrote, just that they did write. They're the Chick tracts of their day, often offensive, always a bit stupid. But people buy then, and I'm trading them for something more interesting.

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