- David Fitch commented a few days back on why “leadership” is unbiblical. Yesterday, Bob Hyatt offered his “rebuttal.”
I’ve noticed in the last few years a real bandwagon of anti-leadership sentiment in some circles. I think it started as a push-back to the “CEO” model/mentality in some, and as such, I’m sympathetic. But from there, it has progressed to where we now have many arguing that any concept of leadership in the church should be avoided.
- Kevin Barney asks, Can Biblical Languages Unlock the Secrets of the Universe? (Hint: the answer is no)
I’ve noticed that people who do not read the original languages of the Bible sometimes think of those languages as somehow magical, as the key that can open any mystery and answer any question about the Bible. While reading the original languages is tremendously important and helpful and useful, such a reading by itself does not always magically result in clear and simple answers to controversial religious questions. There are limitations inherent in an appeal to an original language for determining the meaning of a text.
- Andrew Walker addresses The Plight of the Education Bubble.
As the article indicates, countless PhD students spend years dedicated towards research that will perhaps never posit an actual job in their field. Supply is greater than demand as the article suggets. The future seems depressingly bleak then for doctoral students: They are treated as indentured servants by their superiors. They spend meaningful years that could have been put towards savings, retirement, and even more important—nurturing families.
- Roger Olson and Michael Horton have had an interesting exchange on the nature of Arminianism (read the comments). In the process, Olson made a very good comment about fairly representing other perspectives:
I urge you, and all non-Arminians who describe our theology, to describe it as we describe it and then go on to explain why you disagree….Fairness is the issue here.
- Brian LePort discusses The Gospel according to Paul.
- Italian police think that they accidentally found Caligula’s lost tomb while chasing tomb raiders.
- Chris Armstrong points out that you can get a free copy of the 100th issue of Christian History to celebrate its relaunch.
- And, a University of Colorado student decided to pay his $14,000 tuition bill with a suitcase full of $1 bills. (If you’re a student at Western Seminary, please don’t do this. If you’re at a different school, go for it!)
- A NYT article has generated a lot of interest as it tries to explain why global warming actually causes unusually low temperatures.
It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it.
- iMonk reflects on Mary and the contemplative life.
It is unfortunate that we divide action and contemplation. It is unfortunate that we sometimes suspect those who pursue a robust inner life.
In short, both Jewish and Christian traditions treat him as Herod the Terrible. The historian, however, is fully aware, despite Herod’s grave shortcomings, of his unparalleled political and cultural accomplishments….All in all, in view of these unquestionable achievements Herod deserves to be known as the one and only Herod the Great.
- If you haven’t heard already, the oldest human remains ever discovered may have been found recently in Israel, possibly upsetting the standard theory that humans originated in North Africa.
A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said teeth found in the cave are about 400,000 years old and resemble those of other remains of modern man, known scientifically as Homo sapiens, found in Israel. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half as old.
- Jason Goroncy offers a very helpful summary of 12 ways to prematurely write off Yoder. If you’re interested in John Howard Yoder, anabaptism, or “constantinianism”, you should check it out.
- R. Scott Clark discusses some of the differences between Baptists and reformed theology on the New Covenant.
- And, here’s a list of 6 animals humanity accidentally made way scarier (warning: Cracked is not always the most appropriate website around).
- Joel Hunter offers some thoughts about the challenges of preaching on controversial issues.
- The heaviest and most expensive gold coin ever found has been uncovered at a dig in Israel. HT
- Inside Higher Ed has an article on the new company, Ultrinsic, that allows students to place bets on their grades.
- Richard Beck has some interesting comments on evangelical art, contending that our propensity for putting words on everything and having overly simplistic lyrics in our songs reflects an emphasis on evangelism and catechesis in our art and undermines the subtlety and ambiguity so important for good art.
- Rodney Stark recently argued that the mainline denominations declined because they replaced the Gospel and vital spirituality with social activism, and that evangelicalism might face a similar decline if it’s not careful. Greg Garrett responds by arguing that all is not lost for the mainline denominations, but agrees that evangelicalism is in danger as a result of its shallow spirituality. Both agree that evangelicals need to pay more attention to history if we want to avoid a precipitous decline.
- Slate.com comments on the origins of the letter grading scale and why ‘E’ is not a grade.
- Apparently tomorrow night is supposed to be the best night for watching the Perseid meteor shower. Unless, of course, you live in the NW, which has apparently forgotten that it’s still supposed to be summer.
- And here’s a list of 12 theories about Lost that were better than the actual show. HT
Bulgarian archeologists think they have found the remains of St. John the Baptist. Well, technically they only found fragments of a skull, a hand, and a tooth. And, technically they don’t know that they belonged to John the Baptist. The bone fragments were discovered in a reliquary inscribed with the date June 24, traditionally the date of John’s birth. And, though I don’t mean to disparage anyone’s relics, it does seem entirely legitimate to question whether we can simply assume that the bones inside a reliquary actually belonged to the saint in question. Right?
So, in breaking news, archeologists have discovered a really old box that may or may not have something to do with John the Baptist and that contains bones which may very well not have belonged to John in the first place. When you say it like that, though, it’s not as exciting.
- Bob Cargill has an article on “The Misuse of Archeology for Evangelistic Purposes,” arguing that biblical scholars have a responsibility to refute quickly the pseudo-scientific claims that people make for ideological or moneymaking purposes. (HT Jim West)
- Internet Monk discusses Jesus junk – all that stuff you find in some Christian book stores (assuming that you ever actually enter such stores). He argues that Christians buy Jesus junk for three reasons: safety, religiosity, and guilt.
- Paul Helm has posted the third article in his series on Kevin Vanhoozer’s Remythologizing God. He also discusses Vermigli’s use of Aristotle in developing his view of human action and responsibility through the concepts of voluntariness and ignorance.
- Kevin DeYoung offers a quote from Timothy Ward’s Words of Life rejecting the idea that we should understand Scripture through an analogy between incarnation and inspiration.
- James McGrath has begun his review of The Historical Jesus with a discussion of Robert Price’s Christ-myth perspective. As expected, he offers an interesting review that points out some fundamental weaknesses in any such position.
- Evangelical Textual Criticism points out a new journal, Student Journal for New Testament Studies, that looks like it could be a good resource to keep an eye on. Those of you doing NT studies may want to check out the submissions guidelines and consider submitting something.
In case you haven’t heard yet, they found Noah’s ark again. I’m not sure how many times they’ve found it in the last fifty years ago, but they’re pretty excited about finding it this time. How do you respond to these kinds of developments? I have to be honest and say that I put on my skeptic hat pretty quickly. It’s not that I doubt whether Noah lived, but I have become rather jaded by prior “discoveries” that didn’t pan out.
I’m also not a big fan of the evidentiary apologetics that seems to drive archeological endeavors like this. What do we really think we’re going to prove? Do we think that if we can just find some irrefutable archeological evidence supporting a biblical story that people will suddenly be convinced of the Bible’s truth? Or, are we trying to ease our own hidden fears that the Bible might be wrong by finding hard evidence to support our faith. If we are building our faith or the faith of the people around us on the reliability of the archeological evidence, we’re in a lot of trouble.
That doesn’t mean I think people have to stop looking for Noah’s ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, or Moses’ left sandal. It’s the motivation that troubles me. If we’re learning about the past to understand the history of God’s people and be better prepared to live faithfully in the present, outstanding. If we’re trying to accumulate evidence in favor of the Bible because we think that will give us or others a stronger faith, we’ve got problems.