Styptic Wit

In his review essay of Brian Garner’s Dictionary of Modern American Usage, David Foster Wallace describes a particular critic as having a “styptic wit.” This is a wonderful expression describing what must be a wit that is capable of drying up any sanguinity in the hearer or target.


Just a heads up that I deactivated my Twitter account; I didn’t block you. Why? Pretty much the same reason I deleted my Facebook account a few years ago- it makes loving people harder. It’s my fault, not Twitter’s fault.

Performance at Cotton District Arts Festival, 4/21/2018

Barlow Performing at Cotton District Arts Festival

Set List:

  1. Highway 41 (original)
  2. You’re the Sanest Girl I Know (original)
  3. My Heart is a Field of Songs (original)
  4. Favorite Folk Singer (original)

Guitar Used: Epiphone Sheraton through Mic’d Fender 40 / Location: West Stage, Near Coconuts Gas Station, Starkville Mississippi

Everything went pretty smoothly; the sound was good and some co-workers and family were there. One of my family members had a birthday that day. The sound guy was nice. The band before me was amazing – they closed with “Whipping Post” by Allman Bros.

Open Mic Night, April 16, 2018

Set List:

  1. Grey in LA (Cover, Loudon Wainwright)
  2. Between the Bars (Cover, Elliot Smith)
  3. Highway 49 (Original)
  4. Ask Me (Cover, The Smiths)
  5. Worries (Cover, Langhorne Slim)
  6. Sweet is the Melody (Cover, Iris Dement)
  7. Field of Songs (Original)
  8. All I Want (Cover, Toad the Wet Sprocket)
  9. You are the Everything (Cover, REM)
  10. Far, Far Away (Cover, Wilco)
  11. Encore: Doomsday (Cover, Elvis Perkins)

Guitar Used: Epiphone Sheraton / Location: Dave’s Dark Horse, Starkville, MS

This was the last warm-up before my performance the following weekend at the Cotton District Arts Festival.  I think it went okay and it gave me confidence to stand up there and perform 11 songs. I still can’t believe the other performers didn’t come and kill me for hogging the stage, but when I started, there was only one other signup.

Exposure of Infants

I’d always heard that early Christians in Rome saved babies who were “exposed” – that is, unwanted babies who were left out on garbage heaps to die, a common practice in paganism. I just ran across the passage in Justin Martyr, an early church apologist, where he discusses exposure (Apology 1.27 – written between AD 147 and 161) and he says that these exposed infants were almost always brought up to be prostitutes. If Christians didn’t save them, the owners of brothels or pagan temples would take the babies and raise them to be prostitutes, both girls and boys. Justin also mentions that infants with birth defects were raised specifically to be used in this way. He points out that pagans who engage in temple worship that involves prostitution might well be committing incest with their own children – exposed years ago and forgotten.

Frame / Classical Theism

I really enjoyed John Frame’s lengthy critique and Matt Colvin’s briefer exegetical notes on Dolezal’s classical theism book.

You might also be interested to read John Frame’s new autobiography: Theology of My Life. Having read his books for many years and been his “student” (yet without ever having met him) it was helpful to pair a life with a theology. The book narrates his growing up, attending Princeton and getting involved with the evangelicals there, and then his life in Philadelphia, Escondido, and finally Florida. Frame is a good egg.

The biggest barrier to on-the-ground ecumenism is when we take a system (like classical theism) and, by it, cause statements that the bible makes repeatedly to sound in need of defense, explanation, or counterintuitive clarification. Our theology should be so harmonious with the bible that when those steeped in our theology read the scriptures, they find far more things that elicit nods than frowns.

Update, 12/3/2017 – Frame posted a few more articles about this topic, due to some responses he has received:

Biblical Personalism: Further Thoughts on Scholasticism and Scripture

Scholasticism and Creation