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Showing posts from July, 2013

Chesterton on the value of detective stories

A Defense of Detective Stories
by G.K. Chesterton

From The Defendant

In attempting to reach the genuine psychological reason for the popularity of detective stories, it is necessary to rid ourselves of many mere phrases. It is not true, for example, that the populace prefer bad literature to good, and accept detective stories because they are bad literature. The mere absence of artistic subtlety does not make a book popular. Bradshaw’s Railway Guide contains few gleams of psychological comedy, yet it is not read aloud uproariously on winter evenings. If detective stories are read with more exuberance than railway guides, it is certainly because they are more artistic. Many good books have fortunately been popular; many bad books, still more fortunately, have been unpopular. A good detective story would probably be even more popular than a bad one. The trouble in this matter is that many people do not realize that there is such a thing as a good detective story; it is to them like spe…

G. Campbell Morgan: The Hidden Years - Conclusion

Segment 1 of G. Campbell Morgan's The Hidden Years at Nazareth is here. Segment 2 is here. Segment 3 is here, and Segment 4 is here. What follows is the conclusion.

Now, that was what Jesus was doing for eighteen years. There was no crowd to sin "hosanna"; no other crowd to cry "Crucify Him"; but alone He did His work and faced all the subtle forms of temptation that beset humankind, and one by one He put His conquering foot upon the neck of them, until the last was baffled and beaten, and His enemies were palsied by the strong stroke of his pure right arm. That is what He was doing.
There was necessity for it, and because of Nazareth's shop there came Gethsemane's garden and Calvary's cross, and so, abiding in the will of God, by victory upon victory, He won His final triumph, and so opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Now, beloved, from this study what are we to learn? I can only write off for you, very briefly, one or two lessons, an…

Jesus' Hidden Years at Nazareth, Part 4

Segment 1 of G. Campbell Morgan's The Hidden Years at Nazareth is here. Segment 2 is here, and Segment 3 is here. What follows is Segment 4.

When Jesus sent out from that carpenter's chop yokes that the farmers would use, they were so fashioned and finished that they would gall no ox. "Take My yoke upon you" gathers force and strength as an illustration from the fidelity of the carpenter's shop. When Jesus said, "Take My yoke," it was because He knew that it would not gall, it would be finished and perfect.

Sometimes we have overshadowed the carpenter's shop with Calvary's cross. We have no right to do it. We have come to forget the fidelity of the Son of God in the little details of life as we have gazed upon His magnificent triumphs in the places of passion and conflict. In the second place, the divine approval meant that the influence of the life had been pure and bright and good. You all know the effect of influence. What sort of influence…

Jesus' Hidden Years, Part 3

Segment 1 of G. Campbell Morgan's The Hidden Years at Nazareth is here. Segment 2 is here. What follows is Segment 3.

For the greater part, then, of the life of Jesus, He worked with His own hands for His own living. That brings the Son of God, in living, pulsating life, close to every man who works.

There is a beautiful tradition, that Joseph,His reputed father, died while Jesus was yet a child, and so He worked not merely to earn His own living, but to keep the little home together in Nazareth, and Mary and the younger members of the family depended upon His toil. That is a beautiful tradition.* It may be true, but I do not press it. But I do press this upon you above everything else, that He worked for His living.
Oh that we could get all the strength and comfort which this fact is calculated to afford! Business men, you who have been at work all the week and have been harassed by daily labors and are weary and tired and seeking new inspiration, this Jesus, whose name has bec…

Jesus' Years at Nazareth, Part 2

Morgan's The Hidden Years at Nazareth is a little devotional gem that is no longer available. I have a copy passed down to me from my grandmother. The copyright date is 1898.

Morgan (1863-1945) was a contemporary of many great Christian thinkers: George MacDonald (1824-1905), G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), and Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), to name but a few. He lived during a time of evangelistic fervor. As a boy he listened to Dwight L. Moody and as an adult he knew the great evangelical preachers John Stott (1921-2011) and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He was instrumental in bringing Lloyd-Jones to Westminster in 1939 to share the pulpit and become his successor.
Segment 1 of G. Campbell Morgan's The Hidden Years at Nazareth is here. What follows is segment 2.

What of those eighteen years? Where was He? What was He doing? As one whom He has ordained to preach His gospel in this public ministry, I am intensely interested in the way He spoke to men and acted among…

Jesus' Hidden Years at Nazareth

I found a treasure among the books my paternal grandmother owned. It is Rev. G. Campbell Morgan's The Hidden Years at Nazareth, a little devotional gem. My grandmother, Alice Williams Linsley, was ordained a Baptist pastor in 1925 in California. She had served on the evangelistic team of Mordecai Ham (1877–1961), an Independent Baptist evangelist from Kentucky to whose invitation Billy Graham walked the aisle. Grandmother Linsley was an avid reader and people sent her books from England and India (where she was born). This little book is no longer in print and isn't even listed among the publications of Rev. G. Campbell Morgan.

G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945) was born on a farm in Tetbury, England, the son of a Baptist minister. When Campbell was 10 years old, D. L. Moody came to England for the first time, and the effect of his ministry, combined with the dedication of his parents, made such an impression on young Morgan, that at the age of 13, he preached his first sermon.…