Thursday, July 01, 2021

How The Battersea And Enfield Cases Are Similar And Different

The BBC ran a series of podcasts on the Battersea Poltergeist earlier this year. It's gotten millions of streams and downloads and has been widely discussed, and a television series is under development. Comparisons between Battersea and Enfield came up periodically during the podcast series and have often been brought up elsewhere. I want to discuss how the two cases relate.

I've been studying Enfield extensively for a few years now, but I know much less about Battersea. I've read Shirley Hitchings and James Clark's The Poltergeist Prince Of London (Great Britain: The History Press, 2013) and some recent articles on the case, I've listened to the BBC series mentioned above, and I've watched some videos on the subject. Clark's book is good and is the best resource I'm aware of on the case. It had to have taken a lot of time and effort to sort through all of the material involved in such a large and complicated case and to present it so well. I recommend starting with Clark's book, then listening to the BBC series. The podcasts will be easier to follow if you have the background knowledge the book provides, and some of the material covered in the podcast series happened later than the timeframe the book covers.

Unless I indicate otherwise, references related to the Battersea case below will be to the approximate location in the Kindle version of Clark's book. I'll be citing some of Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair's Enfield tapes. I'll designate Grosse's tapes with "MG" and Playfair's with "GP", so that MG23B is Grosse's tape 23B, GP90A is Playfair's tape 90A, and so on.

I'll briefly discuss what I think of the authenticity of the Battersea case, then address how Battersea and Enfield relate and make some miscellaneous comments about the BBC series on Battersea and other issues. To keep this post from being longer, much of what I'll be saying will be summaries of my conclusions. I can expand on the points I'll be making if anybody wants me to.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Choosing A Song For Your Funeral

Justin Taylor has been posting a series in which he asks "a few godly leaders I trust and respect for one song that they would like to have played at their funeral". That's a good idea. He's posted entries from Joni Eareckson Tada, Russell Moore, Michael Reeves, John Piper, and Scott Swain. I don't know how many more entries there will be.

There's some value in all of the songs that are mentioned, but I like Piper and Swain's answers the most. Swain mentioned my favorite song, "The Sands Of Time Are Sinking", which is derived from the writings of Samuel Rutherford. But the video Taylor linked has a different tune than the one I prefer and less than half the verses. I prefer the first tune here, and that site shows all nineteen verses. Some of my favorite ones aren't included in the video Taylor posted. But I think Piper's answer is the best so far. The best song for a funeral isn't necessarily your favorite song. You have to take contextual factors into account, like the nature of the situation and what you want the audience to go away with. Piper's song is a good choice because of the importance of its themes and how concise, clear, moving, and memorable it is.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

We Die But Ill Or Well Once

"Have all in readiness against the time that ye must sail through that black and impetuous Jordan [death]…ye can die but once, and if ye mar or spill that business, ye cannot come back to mend that piece of work again. No man sinneth twice in dying ill; as we die but once, so we die but ill or well once." (Samuel Rutherford, Letters Of Samuel Rutherford [Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2012], 75)

On dying well, see here.