Thursday, December 27, 2007

Raising a Glass to the Methuen Treaty


What in the world is the Methuen Treaty, you ask? Well, if you haven't googled it, let me tell you: It was a treaty between Great Britain and Portugal. Among its lasting effects were the political solvency of Portugal's colony, Brazil. However, I have precious little interest in that. Rather, I want to get to the meat of the matter...port wine.

You see, France and England were having a tiff and so Englishmen couldn't get French wines. (Remember that England hadn't grown many wine-grapes since the end of the Medieval Warming Period which our global warbling friends refuse to acknowledge.) The Portuguese started exporting their wine to Britain. Unfortunately, it would spoil while in transit. Thus, to reduce spoilage, they began "fortifying" it with brandy and other hard liquor. The result? Port, or course!

I admit that I'm an unrepentant Anglophile, and am particularly appreciative of the little rituals that have grown up around the enjoyment of port. So enjoy a glass and join me in toasting the second day of Christmas with a nice tawny port.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Super Apostles from Breakpoint

As usual, the guys at Prison Fellowship / Breakpoint's Centurion program have hit the nail on the head. The latest article is about those who propose to "clean up" the preaching of the apostolic gospel. Removing repentance before God for your personal sin is the cornerstone of their teaching. Sometimes it comes in the form of an easy believism - no repentance necessary because you've only made "mistakes" (instead of acts of cosmic treason against God's character). Other times, it's a gospel of other people's sin - whether it's those col-darned secular humanists or those earth-hatin' capitalists.

Either way, on this feast of St. Stephen the Protomartyr, it's time that we abandoned the myth of comfortable, middle-class religiosity and accepted that the apostolic faith demands a life given over to scorn and rejection.