The verdict seems unanimous. From presidential speeches to role-playing games, the crusades are depicted as a deplorably violent episode in which thuggish Westerners trundled off, unprovoked, to murder and pillage peace-loving, sophisticated Muslims, laying down patterns of outrageous oppression that would be repeated throughout subsequent history. In many corners of the Western world today, this view is too commonplace and apparently obvious even to be challenged.
The author, Paul Crawford, goes on to identify four common myths about the Crusades. He provides a nice discussion of each myth, so you’ll want to read the whole post. But, here are the four misconceptions he engages:
- The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
- Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
- Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
- The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.
- Kevin DeYoung offers The Four Indispensable Qualities of Good Preaching: veracity, clarity, authority, and authenticity.
These four qualities are indispensable to good preaching, but some are more indispensable than others. The farther you go down the list, the harder the traits come. But the good news is it’s the top of the list that matter most.
- Scot McKnight asks, Are Denominations Broken?, and shares a letter calling for radical transformation in the PC(USA).
To say the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is deathly ill is not editorializing but acknowledging reality.
- Daniel Kirk engages the controversy surrounding new translations of “Son of God” that are more acceptable in muslim cultures.
If the phrase “son of God” is tantamount to blasphemy to Muslims, is it acceptable to translate the phrase differently into Arabic in the name of making the gospel known?
- Patheos is adding another new blog, and this one looks like it could be very interesting. Evangelical Crossroads features Mark Russell (Asbury), Allen Yeh (Biola), Michelle Sanchez, Michelle Stearns (Mars Hill), and Dwight Friesen (Mars Hill). (HT)
- Stuart comments on a new report estimating that there have been 270 new Christian martyrs every 24 hours over the last decade.
- Protests in Egypt continue to escalate as the US increased pressure on Egypt to end the emergency law.
- And, here’s a list of 102 words that we can thank Shakespeare for.
Discussing the recent move by the French parliament to ban the burqa, R. Scott Clark offered up a great quote for summarizing his understanding of the line that we must walk when engaging cultural issues.
The Reformed confession is neither pietist, which, in its worst expressions, reduces the faith to inward experiences of the transcendent, nor transformational (creating ostensibly Christian versions of secular life).
Read the rest here.
- 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.
Fellow ThM Students,
You may find interest in a debate between myself and Dr. James McGrath of Butler University and Ekaputra Tupamahu, a student at Claremont, on the question of whether Jew, Christians, and Muslims worship the same God. I say “no”; they say “yes”. And it has now spread to his blog as well.
If you’d like to weigh in feel free to do so here.