September 10th, 2003

A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

Comments are back! Huzzah! It's only been, like, a whole week...

I must say, I am shamelessly addicted to feedback. Agree with me, disagree with me, talk about your pet hamster Buddy -- I just enjoy hearing from people.

Except when people send me Calvinistic propaganda in e-mail. I received a note last night, informing me of the error of my ways and inviting me to "take up the challenge" to examine the beauties of Calvinism. I might perhaps have given this message a little more consideration had the author not dismissed Parkinson's The Faith of God's Elect as nothing more than a "rehashing of Pelagius and Arminius". Which, to me, proved that the author of said e-mail had not actually read the book at all, or if he had, it was with a mind so prejudiced that he didn't even notice what Parkinson was actually saying. Because in fact, one of the book's main points is that not only Calvinism but also Arminianism are rooted in an unbiblical definition and understanding of election, and that neither one is preferable -- or necessary.

I might also have considered the e-mail more favourably had it not been couched in the kind of condescending and bullying tones (though fortunately, it stopped short of open insult) that I have regrettably encountered from many Calvinists when addressing non-Calvinists. Evidently such people regard it as their divine mission to convert evangelicals to Calvinism; I hope I may be pardoned for wondering where this particular version of the Great Commission is found in Scripture.

I also wonder, if this doctrine truly deepens the believer's spiritual understanding, why are so many of its adherents so unChristlike?

P.S. This is not an invitation to argue passionately about Calvinism in the Comments box, by the way. In fact I would greatly prefer you didn't.
A Pocket Full of Murder

(no subject)

My friend Doug has taken me to task in e-mail for my rhetorical question at the end of the previous post, and his mail system keeps bouncing my replies, so I'll respond to his concerns here.

All I meant by "rhetorical" was that I wanted my readers to ponder the question, rather than load down the Comments box with answers which might well tend toward either the defensive or the critical. Is that so terrible?

Anyway, I've taken the bit about the question's rhetoricity (is that a word? If not, it ought to be) out of the postscript, since it obviously gave the wrong impression.
A Pocket Full of Murder

Well, there's the biggest hurdle cleared...

I've just finished working my way through the first chapter of If We Survive, with the previously threatened editorial hatchet. No doubt there'll be a bit more tweaking here and there once I get comments from the mailing list, but on the whole I'm quite satisfied with the result.

The revision process involved a lot of scene-shuffling, some reframing of times and places, and inserting mentions of events in OotP that affected the various characters: that much I expected. What I did not expect was for it to be such fun.

I added a whole new scene! I wasn't just indulging myself, either: I really think the additional material was necessary, and that it strengthens the chapter and indeed the story as a whole. Besides... it's about Occlumency! Enough said.

Revising the rest of the story should be fairly easy, after this.