- BioLogos is posting a two-part article from James Bradley on Why Dembski’s Design Inference Doesn’t Work.
This article challenges that belief by questioning some of Dembski’s assumptions, pointing out some limitations of his analysis, and arguing that a design inference is necessarily a faith-based rather than a scientific inference.
- Cynthia Nielsen discusses Foucault’s critique of the modern subject.
I conclude that most if not all of Foucault’s condemnatory remarks concerning the subject are not intended as a death sentence for the subject per se; rather, his objective is to lay to rest a particular socio-historical construction of the subject and subjectivity. That is, Foucault’s critique is directed expressly at themodern construction of an ahistorical, autonomous subject as sovereign originator of meaning, one untainted by his own particular historical and socio-political context.
- Kent Eilers has a nice post on Plagiarism & the Seven Deadly Sins.
Pride – Plagiarism is driven by the refusal of limitation. A student comes up against their own intellectual limits, the time allotted in a busy semester, etc., and, unwilling to accept limitation, compensates by deception.
- James McGrath points out that Brian Abasciano’s doctoral dissertation from the University of Aberdeen “Paul’s Use of the OT in Romans 9.1-9” is available online. And, I should have commented on this a while ago, but Jonathan Robinson has also made is MTh thesis available online, “Sex, Slogans and Σώµατα: Discovering Paul’s Theological Ethic in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.”
- Nick Norelli offers a detailed review of James McGrath’s The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Context. And, both Joel Watts and Brian Fulthorp have nice reviews of Tim Gombis’ The Drama of Ephesians: Participating in the Triumph of God.
- Travis McMaken comments on 5 Must-Read Recent Books on Barth.
- And, Mashable offers some suggestions for the best places to get free Kindle books.
In On Christian Doctrine 4.62 Augustine argues that it’s perfectly appropriate for a pastor to use sermon’s prepared by someone else. According to him, we should just face the fact that some people are gifted speakers, but not very skilled at study. To use Augustine’s distinction, they are fine “preachers” but they are not very able “teachers.” And, as long as the speaker does not use another person’s work dishonestly (i.e. claiming it for his own), and as long as the church has a coherent teaching (preferably through a singular teacher), there’s nothing wrong with this.
There are, indeed, some men who have a good delivery, but cannot compose anything to deliver. Now, if such men take what has been written with wisdom and eloquence by others, and commit it to memory, and deliver it to the people, they cannot be blamed, supposing them to do it without deception. For in this way many become preachers of the truth (which is certainly desirable), and yet not many teachers; for all deliver the discourse which one real teacher has composed, and there are no divisions among them.
Augustine goes on to argue that the real “thief,” the true “plagiarist,” is the one who preaches what is not true in his own life: “it is the man who speaks well, but lives badly, who really takes the words that belong to another.”
What do you think? Would you have any problem with a preacher who didn’t prepare his/her own sermons as long as they were honest about it?