An explanation

I have been somewhat relieved to discover the reason for a slight slowdown in my recent output. It is not that I have been busy in the church, or that I have taken a holiday with my family, or that I have been investing in other time-sensitive commitments, or that blogging is not my first priority in life, or - as suggested by some - that I have been consumed by the current Ashes series (this is a reference to the noble game of cricket, which - to the utter bewilderment of my American friends - is a series of five matches between England and Australia, each match lasting up to five days, played every week or two over a given period, the whole being repeated with some regularity).

Now, thanks to Carl Trueman's review of D. G. Hart's recent book, I discover that the fact of the matter is that I do not actually exist. As I say, this comes as a great relief to me, and explains a number of other issues. When it now appears that my endeavours to make Christ known within and without the walls of the church building are bearing little fruit I shall be able to fall back on the newly-discovered detail that I was not, in actuality, present. Past tragedies and triumphs can or must now be dismissed on the basis of the fact that I was never actually there. After all, if John Gill, Andrew Fuller and Charles Spurgeon have been airbrushed from the history of Calvinism, what hope for one who I now discover is, in every sense, a non-entity? It would seem that Baptists must accept that we exist in an ethereal world of our own imagination and need therefore to leap into the substantial world of Presbyterianism if we are to have any real presence, to the great rejoicing of those who have already discovered an allegedly-genuine time-space continuum. I mean, it puts a whole new spin on this 'incarnational ministry' business. I did find myself wondering how the Congregationalists fared (I have not read Mr Hart's book yet, but if booksellers have got wind of the fact that I am not, it might explain why the odd order goes awry). I take refuge in the fact that even the great ones like John Owen might be so tainted with crypto-Baptist convictions as to risk their erasure in like manner.

So, relieved of the burden of actually being, I look forward to the cheerful maintenance of the fiction of existence over the coming weeks. But what to do under such circumstances? I recall Basil Fawlty's conundrum and its resolution: "Are you listening to me? Hello, can . . . hello, can anybody hear me? Have I ceased to exist? Have I suddenly become invisible? . . . can you see me? Oh, good. Well, I'll go and lie down then. No, I won't; I'll go and hit some guests." If I find out what the pastoral equivalent is, I will let you know. In the meantime, if you find that random Presbyterians have taken an unanticipated buffeting (or, if I am feeling mischievous, a dousing) from an untraceable non-source, you might suspect that I have found my raison de n'être pas.