September 19, 2007
Avast me hearties
A Christian angle on Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Ar! Shiver me timbers and blow me down. Today be, of course, Talk Like a Pirate Day. Sadly, we have little on our site about pirates. I had high hopes for the recent Christian book Samson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood by Nate Larkin. But beware: the book has nothing in it about pirates.
So I turned instead to Colin Woodard, author of the new and highly acclaimed book that's actually about pirates, The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down.
"The pirates themselves demonstrated little in the way of religion," he told me, unsurprisingly. "But Woodes Rogers [the "Man Who Brought Them Down" of Woodard's title] appears to have been at least partially inspired by his faith, having repeatedly ordered stocks of tracts from the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. Seems he thought part of the way of reforming pirates would be through their spiritual redemption. He arranged for SPCK materials for both an abortive project to reform the pirates of Madagascar and, later, for his mission to the Bahamas."
Woodard talks a bit about this in his book, but that's not what attracted Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Al Mohler, who recently recommended the book to his blog readers.
"Like the pirates themselves, this book will take your imagination captive," Mohler wrote. "I was taken with the book from its introduction to the end, and I really appreciate Woodard's careful explanation of why the pirates were such important characters on the world scene."
That's about it on Christianity and pirates, at least for this year's TLAPD celebrations. In the meantime, ChristianBook.com sells Pirate Gold Sea Monkeys.
(Oh, and spare me any comments below about I've just spent more time on Talk Like a Pirate Day than on most days of the Christian calendar. I'm well aware of that. Pirates are just much more fun to blog about today than, say, Theodore of Tarsus or Januarius.)