So there is a sense in which the Christian faith is both conservative and progressive, and another sense in which it is neither. The Christian faith is inescapably political, but must not allow itself to be coopted by secular and unbelieving partisanship. But to reject partisanship is to reject compromises with secularists who want to hook up with an evangelical voting block.
- Rachel Held Evans comments on the future of evangelicalism from the perspective of a twenty-something.
I grew up in evangelicalism, spent most of my twenties arguing with it, and as I approach my 30th birthday, am ready to rebuild and move forward in my faith. While I can’t address these questions on behalf of all young evangelicals, I can speak from my own perspective, which I suspect is fairly common.
- Chaplin Mike argues that Christians are addicted to answers.
Christians are addicted to “answers.” For some reason, we think the ultimate favor we can do for the world is to explain the ways of God.
- Stuart offers a nice summary of the buzz surrounding the discovery of biblical scrolls and lead codices, possibly dating to the 1st century. And James McGrath has a nice roundup of links.
- You can win a copy of the Common English Bible over at Near Emmaus.
- “Of the 5.9 million brackets filled out in the ESPN Tournament Challenge, only two accurately predicted the Final Four (Butler, Virginia Commonwealth, Connecticut and Kentucky).” (HT)
- And, here’s a list of the 15 best James Bond deaths.
A lot of good links over the last couple of days. Here are some of the more interesting.
- PZ Myers points out that Answers in Genesis has been guilty of using history jacking (hijacking your browser history to discern what sites you’ve been visiting) and using that information to categorize visitors. Interestingly, although they have a distinct category for “Christian” users, if you’ve visited creationmuseum.org, joelosteen.com, or beliefnet.com, you get categoriezed as “other.” HT James McGrath and Stuart.
- Mark Galli has a great post on Evangelizing Ourselves: The Gospel is for Christians Too.
Let me suggest, in fact, that whenever we communicate to non-Christians that we have found it and that they have not, that we have been chosen and that they have not, that we are the apple of God’s eye and that they are not—whenever we assume that stance, consciously or not, we are communicating something other than the gospel, the Good News.
- Kevin DeYoung has a very helpful post on The New Testament’s Use of Old Testament Prophecy. Summarizing Doug Moo, he offers six principles and two important questions to keep in mind.
Sometimes with good apologetic and evangelistic motives we will point to all the OT prophecies about Christ and then run down a list of all the NT fulfillments. There is truth here, but if we set things up as “here’s the prediction; here’s the prediction come true” we are bound to confuse people. We may even cause people to doubt the prophetic witness rather than trust it.
- In “This is not my father’s Pentecostalism!“, Roger Olson reflects on the shift from the anti-intellectualism of his early Pentecostal background to the Pentecostals of today.
These Pentecostals are widely read in biblical and theological studies, immersed in the latest trends in missiology, even leading the way in some areas of theological reflection such as the Holy Spirit and world religions.
- Daniel Kirk has posted his SBL paper: “Toward a Theory of Narrative Transformation: The Importance of Both Contexts in Paul’s Scriptural Citations“
Our attempts to read Paul, in other words, will come up short to the extent that we either (a) neglect the narrative flow within which the cited verse occurs in its original OT context, or (b) allow that OT context to be entirely determinative for what the verse means in Paul.
Today, the monastery is a vibrant stronghold of traditional Ethiopian Orthodox monasticism. And at first glance, it even seems impervious to modern Ethiopia’s fast-changing society. But it, as do all facets of Ethiopia’s monastic culture, confronts new realities and an uncertain future.
- Brian LePort continues his discussion of Derrida, deconstruction, and postmodernism with a post on Interpreting Derrida: Deconstruction. (You can see a list of his other posts here.)
- Bible and Interpretation has a fine essay on the Tel Hazor Excavations: Highlights from Recent Seasons. HT Jim West
- Patheos is hosting a discussion of Revelation of the Magi: The Lost Tale of the Wise Men’s Journey to Bethlehem (HarperOne, 2010), which deals with an ancient syriac tradition regarding the three wise men.
- James K.A. Smith announces that Brazos is giving away a copy of his Letters to a Young Calvinist. XSM2B7AG8BTA
Okay, I finally got one too many comments from people who either couldn’t figure out what “flotsam and jetsam” means (originally a nautically term referring to the debris left after a shipwreck, it’s also used to refer to “odds and ends” in general), or who wondered if I’m just a big Little Mermaid fan (which, by the way, says more about you than it does me). So, I’m going to drop that title for a while and go with something that will hopefully be a little clearer. But, just in case there’s still some uncertainty out there, let me explain:
- “Morning” = that period of the day between when I wake up and when my coffee has finally kicked in.
- “Links” = those underlined/colored/highlighted words on the screen that take you places when you click on them.
Now, that we’ve taken care of that business, here are some links for this morning.
- William Black offers some critical reflections on speaking in tongues, coming from one who speaks in tongues. On the same subject, Diglot wants to know what people think about non-Christians who also speak in tongues.
- Calvin College cancels a concert by the New Pornographers over concerns that they were being associated with pornography.
- Michael Jensen gives a great summary of Barth’s understanding of 1 Corinthians 15.
- Here are some video interviews with Scott Rae on medical and business ethics. HT
- Kevin DeYoung continues to offer advice for theological students and young pastors.
- Jason reviews Paul D. Wegner’s Using Old Testament Hebrew in Preaching.
- James McGrath points out some videos of Wolfart Pannenberg and Gordon Kauffman speaking about God, Science, and Mystery.
- And, Bible and Interpretation has an interesting article on the excavation of Geshur, possibly one of the most important of the Canaanite cities. HT
- Marilynne Robinson on religion and science again, this time on Huffpo.
- Jim points out an article on whether biblical archeology is being hyped by politics. I’m sure he’s only pointing it out because it’s well written. Not because he’s quoted in it.
- iMonk discusses the militarization of the rhetoric surrounding the creation/evolution debate.
- R. Scott Clark argues that the Vatican’s new policies on how to handle clergy misconduct could use a good dose of two-kingdoms theology.
- I love that Yahoo news headlined the story about the 19th century ship discovered in New York with “Ancient Ship Unearthed at World Trade Center Site.” Really? 200 years old qualifies as “ancient”?
- Diglotting has a review of Daniel Wallace’s Granville Sharp’s Canon and Its Kin: Semantics and Signfiicance. It’s tough to sell a book like this as compelling, but he claims: “have never read another book entirely devoted to a Greek linguistic issue that has been as captivating as this one.” Of course, that may not be setting the bar very high.
- And, apparently Snoop Dog tried to rent an entire country for his next video shoot. And I have a hard time renting a cabin for our next family vacation.
- Jim West points out Ligionier Academy and R.C. Sproul are beginning their own undergraduate Bible college. Because what the country desperately needs right now is yet another new Bible college. Jim also points out Israel Finklestein’s web site with lots of good resources in archeology and ANE studies.
- James McGrath has finished his review of The Historical Jesus: Five Views, and has posted a roundup of all his comments.
- A new blog, Wondering Fair, has a post by Dave Benson on using ballroom dancing and perichoresis as an analogy for gender relations.
- Theolog points out a recent Jon Stewart monologue discussing our cultural resistance to a growing Muslim presence.
- According to a new study, the “healthist”, “thriving” churches (measured by attendance, growth, and engagement) are likely to have “a high number of small groups, effective lay leadership, faithful pastors, and both traditional and contemporary services.
- Larry Hurtado has started a new blog. He’s already posted a couple of videos that look interesting. This one should definitely be worth following. (HT Near Emmaus)
- New Leaven has an interesting discussion of whether Jesus really suffered, or whether he actually had a pretty cushy life compared to the kinds of suffering experienced by other people.
- NPR considers a claim that Plato hid a secret musical code inside his written works indicating that Plato was actually a closet Pythagorean.
- Parchment and Pen has begun a series on the Top Ten Biblical Discoveries in Archeology.
- ERB has some good review this week including Mark Shaw’s Global Awakening: How 20th Century Revivals Triggered A Christian Revolution, Greg Boyd’s Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now, and Jürgen Moltman’s Sun of Righteousness Arise! God’s Future for Humanity and the Earth.
- The New York Times reports on the rise of the religious left and the significance that this has for political discourse today.
- Mark Goodacre has been adding quite a few resources over at NT Gateway.
- Richard Beck asks why social scientists haven’t paid more attention to the impact that trintiarian beliefs may (or my not) have on the actual lives of Christians.
- Jim West reports a study indicating that people read slower on e-readers like the Kindle and iPad, but like them better than traditional books anyway. Apparently speed isn’t everything.
- Justin Taylor has a very nice interview with Graham Cole on the Holy Spirit.
- Denny Burk comments on feminism, porn, and patriarchy.
- Mark Stevens raises the question of whether pastoral ministry is really worth it, complete with a quote from a pastor friend of his as saying, “There is nothing in this life that makes ministry worth while.”
- Jim West offers yet another example of how archeology can be misused and abused.
- And, Wikipedia celebrates 750 years of American independence on July 25, according to the Onion.