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The Ink Society's Radio Debut


World Magazine has a radio show called 'The World and Everything in it'. Phillip Tippin and I have been big fans of it since it began last summer. Well, they decided to use something I wrote on the Ink Society a month ago about Chesterton as a part of this weekend's lineup. The original post can be found here but not here.

You can listen to it on this very site by clicking play above or (if you have an iphone or ipad) by clicking here

This will be playing on sundry radio stations in the United States this weekend and you can listen to the entire show or individual segments at World Magazine's site here but definitely not here.


R. Eric Tippin
At Home on Applewood Lane
June 9, 2012 


Grace and the Mortality of Memory


My brother, Phillip Tippin in a previous Ink Society post cogently examined the concept that memories are mortal and, “That memories are simply reminders of . . . current realities.” He also claimed that clinging to the past, especially through modern technology can be potentially dangerous. I applaud his brilliant treatment of this subject and ask you to read his post here but certainly not here.

            I would like to further examine the subject of the tendency of most memories to die. For they do. The paint color (or wallpaper) in the room I shared with my brother as a child is no longer with me. I don’t remember what my favorite shirt was when I was ten years old, though I know I had a favorite. Thousands of names I once knew, if only for a short time, have evaporated like dew on a sunny morning; and hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of words I have read or heard are utterly inaccessible to me. I would go on, but logic tells me it’s somewhat unproductive to try to remember things no longer in my memory. I suppose it’s like a sightless man trying to enjoy a silent film, John Mayer trying humility or William Carlos Williams trying to write a sonnet. The necessary preconditions do not exist. 

            But this post is here to praise God, the maker of heaven and earth, with all sincerity, for the mortality of memory--for the grace given man to forget, at least in part, horrors seen and temptations given into; crippling insults received and bullying words spoken. Had God given the brains of man the ability to store, organize and recall at will every sense experience, the majority of men would go mad. We speak now of those “who live in the past” but, with all-powerful memories, living in the present would become nearly impossible. The woman whose husband said, in a fit of anger during a fight, “Well you could handle to lose some weight!” could never forget one syllable of those words or the tone in which they were said. And no matter how many times he apologized and she strove to forgive, his statement would play in terrible high fidelity over and over in her perfect memory, undimmed by time. Abusers would continue their abuse long after the initial physical act was finished. The sickening guilt from some youthful sin would be unbearable because it would not give way. Our asylums would be packed with men and women sitting in dusty corners with wide blank eyes, reliving their minds’ carbon copied memory of the death of a child, stuck at the ‘shock’ stage of grief. The recollection of birth would fill the rest of the rooms!

       Secular Darwinists, no doubt, look forward to a day when the human brain is flawlessly organized and running at full capacity. But the truth is, organized brains running at optimum speed and efficiency would ruin the human race. As usual, the secular Darwinists have forgotten human sin—mostly because they disbelieve it. But, as usual, God has not. It is only his beneficent grace, which allows us to forget some of the past. He knew that, until men and women were glorified, unimpeded memory would magnify the effects of sin to such a level that little or no human happiness could exist.

      “But wait!” you say, “Aren’t good memories more powerful than bad? Who wouldn’t want to relive and relish the most beautiful moments in our lives? What person wouldn’t wish to have their first kiss, greatest sports victory and wedding day (or night) at their beckon-call?” Most people would, I think, but they too would fill the asylums, refusing leave those moments in the past. Good memories may be more powerful than bad ones, but that would only make them more dangerous. Secret nostalgia over a former love can kill a marriage in our present state of forgetfulness, but imagine what havoc a perfect memory would wreak on relationships. Contentment with a meal, a night’s sleep, a cup of coffee, a run, a day of work, beautiful weather or a beautiful woman would be shattered by an exact memory of one more tasty, more restful, more smooth, more intense, more productive, more temperate or more lovely. In short, Christian virtue—though still possible through divine power—would be a continual fight against mental archetypes. Pleasure is only possible now because we tend to forget how pleasant something really is and wish to experience it again. So too, pleasure would die if our poor memories expired.

      God has allowed our minds to remember, and we should thank him for that gift. But He also made our memories, while on this fallen earth, mortal, which is grace to us. Someday, when the glory of the new heaven and earth is revealed and we dwell in the perfect joy of God’s presence, we will have no need to forget, for sin will be no more. But until then, learn to thank the LORD in prayer when you are able to say, “You know what? I don’t remember!”


R. Eric Tippin
On a Broken Chair in a Basement, Newton, KS
June 7, 2012


Questions, Queries, Wonderings...

Here are a few thoughts that have rotated in my mind, asking if I dare challenge parts of Christianity as I know it, or if I dare face issues no one addresses. If we were to read the Bible with absolutely no previous knowledge, absolutely no outside help, absolutely no "Christian" societal influence, what would we come up with? I admit I have *inklings of answers with some of these questions. I wish I knew all the answers. But, as much as I love black and white, life is simply color. And I am truly at a loss to see the whole rainbow sometimes.


-Would we ever use the phrase, "invite Jesus into your heart"?


-We are fighting for Christian freedoms in our country, but should we, at the same time, be expecting the decline? Christ said we would be we really think that's the lot of third world countries, but not ours? If we're not persecuted, how can we count it joy, count us blessed?


-Speaking of countries, what of government? What would a government based on the BIBLE, not the Constitution, truly look like?


-And speaking of governments, what about tolerance? Is allowing any religion, however false, to thrive a biblical definition of the word? Is tolerance as we know it a biblical concept at all?


-Where are the verses that tell us that we each are unique, that there has never been someone else like us?


-And last, but not least, is it bad to eat bacon?


*Pardon the terrible pun. It was not first.


Amanda Bergen 
On a hotel couch in the desert, hungry
June 5, 2012



The Mortality of Memory

"I can't remember the name, but it was a little hole-in-the-wall burger joint on Alki Beach" I said to another fellow as we watched the kids play on the beach one June afternoon. There were images of it bumping against the dock on my mind, but a name would not come. However, This conversation brought flooding back other memories of a certain trip with my wife to the northwest territory along with screeching rental car brakes, boating on the Puget Sound and the Devil's Pass. I didn't fret much that I couldn't place the name of the restaurant (though details like that would make me a better conversationalist) because, after all, the memories weren't really lost and if nothing else we have about a hundred pictures of the trip at home.

One hundred photos of a trip, but it was something northwest of 13,000 pictures and videos causing the nail biting and tossing of a tired head upon a pillow. Thankfully, all was not lost when the computer crashed. A backup had been made! The difficulty was still profound in getting the nearly fifty gigabyte file out of the cloud (on an unrelated note, did they ever get cloud seeding to work?). Knowing and being reassured they were safe somewhere was fine and dandy, but the revelation of my heart had been made. What was this pang of fear and dread when the recovery of my treasure was in question. All along the line I had missed the realization that pictures, journals, home movies, and momentos will be burned with fire along with the that Bugatti and the vacation home on the Amalfi Coast. Everything will go to make way for the new. Funny how the last two have never given me pause. In fact the loss of all this world and present body are highly anticipated, but I struggle not to find pause at memories. Why?

I spoke with my brother a couple of months ago and he had been coming to grips with a concept of heaven (and the new earth) along the lines of finding ourselves "ceasing to become." I certainly don't want to steal his thunder and express his thoughts here (I couldn't do them justice even if I made the stab at the heart of it), but if you bought him a basket of fish and chips he would elaborate and you wouldn't be sorry. Just this part here needed is that we only know each other and ourselves in states of becoming and have no truly good memories of individuals that will not be experienced again in shockingly stable reality (When it comes to brothers and sisters in Christ). I can only hope R. Eric Tippin will not take me to task if I missed the boat of his ideas and am still toiling in the old country, but it is just this unbecoming that may help the dilaceration of this unfinished heart.

No other generation, except for the very famous or literarily skilled in the past, have been able to "live on" after death through a recreation of their life and moments in pictures and movies. But now, when I'm flipping through pictures of the last years, it would seem that I am shooting for immortality in the past by not letting it go away. Time is paused and preserved. It can be relived and experienced and we will live again through the recording. A new deception has been born and I didn't even see it growing.

What I enjoy most about the moment (this one right…now, and most every other one) is the feeling of completeness in it. The trees around me are as mature as they have ever been, the buildings are as historic as possible, the mountains will not be any bigger, and my children look just like themselves. There is a sense of temporal completeness, but oh is that deceptive? I find myself embracing the body of this completeness rather than the soul (See MacDonald's thought on this here). My memories and moments surge to one shore, one Rock of true completeness. 

Now unlike fun, memories are Biblical (extremely so). Remember (Joshua 1:13), Remember (1 Chronicles 16:12), and Remember (John 2:12). The reason for this is that the memories are simply reminders of the current realities. 

For example, Joshua had taken command and God would lead the Israelites into the promised land. With the Ark of the Covenant before them, God heaped up the waters of the Jordan and the people crossed on dry soil into Canaan. The people were commanded to build "a memorial forever" of twelve rocks from the river where they crossed to remember that it was the LORD who led them by His power through the river into this new land. The parents were to remember and relate this memory to their children when they asked the meaning of the stones through the generations.

And, we move to another moment in the Old Testament when this river was crossed again only in the opposite direction. Two men walk  together to this Jordan river where a crossing to a promise and hope was made many years before. However, hope must give way to sight. The water is struck and parts by the power of God for these men to pass. A whirlwind, fire, horses, and a chariot! We now only see one man returning to the opposite bank. The water is struck once again and he crosses alone back to hope and the reality of memory. The other has traded hope and memory for completion and sight.

Memories are valuable as we pass along this way but they vary little from the present for those of us who have yet to be unbecoming. 

"…I think they also serve fish and chips at that burger spot if I remember correctly."

June 2, 2012
On "A Horse Named Bison" (I named my brown chair)
Phillip Tippin



Annals: Holland and The Professor

 We, at The Ink Society, do not stand for "Chronologic Snobbery" even in the recent past. Therefore, it seems only fitting to recognize that what was written before might even be more seasonable and felicitous today. With this principle before us, we offer the following, the first in our series from the annals of The Ink Society: 


 "Holland and the Professor"

In my semesters as an English major I have only come across one professor of literature who seems genuine. If you were to approach me with a conspiracy theory stating, “Your other teachers are impostors and dastardly literary thespians!” I might readily agree. (more)