Flotsam and jetsam (1/17)
- According to one CNN opinion piece, Facebook is on the way out. (HT)
But appearances can be deceiving. In fact, as I read the situation, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Facebook. These aren’t the symptoms of a company that is winning, but one that is cashing out.
- David Sehat argues that we need to beware The Myths of American Religious Freedom.
Our self-conception is in fact based on a three-fold myth of American religious freedom that distorts the current debate about religion in public life.
- Matthew Flanagan offers the third installment of his series on the genocide of the Canaanites.
I noted above that in Judges and Exodus the command is expressed in terms of avoiding treaties and driving the Canaanites out. In Joshua and Deuteronomy the command is expressed in the language of “utterly destroying them”. The conclusion we have reached is that the latter is figurative language and the former is literal. If this is the case then the command was to drive them out and it was not to literally exterminate them.
- Daniel Kirk discusses memory and identity in religious communities.
Stories are powerful. And they are nowhere put to such compelling use as they are in religious ceremonies of remembrance.
- CNN gives 9 Reasons that Pope John Paul II Mattered. (Isn’t it great when we can boil a person’s entire life down to nine nifty points?) (HT)
- TC Robinson reviews Tom Schreiner and Matthew Crawford’s new edited volume The Lord’s Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ Until He Comes (B&H 2011).
- Michael Gorman points out a paper surveying three recent proposals about justification in Paul.
- And, Flavorwire shows off the libraries of the rich and famous. (Somebody needs to tell them that if your books are arranged by color, no one is going to believe that you actually read them.) And, if that doesn’t give you enough of a fix for your bibliophile tendencies, here’s a site devoted to Bookshelf Porn (i.e. photos of amazing personal libraries.
Flotsam and jetsam (11/30)
- Roger Olson argues that Arminianism is God-centered theology. From a rather different perspective, apparently over 20% of the readers over at Covenant of Love think Ariminiasm is a herey.
- Paul Helm discusses Thomas Aquinas on Divine Impassibility.
- Scot McKnight raises The Baptism Question.
- James McGrath had the students in his Revelation class evaluate a website and post their comments. He set up a blog for that purpose and is inviting everyone to check it out. I’ve only glanced at it so far, but it looks interesting.
- Dane Ortlund offers a thought from Richard Baukham on why the Gospel writers thought history was so important.
- The official Mormon “handbook” is now available online.
- Matt Dabbs is giving away a copy of Andy Stanley’s The 7 Practices of Effective Ministry.
- And, apparently almost half of all Britons believe in aliens. God is debatable, but aliens are in. HT
Flotsam and jetsam (11/15)
- The Perspectives in Translation blog has started its series on translating 1 Tim 2:12 and the question of “authority”. Denny Burk is first up with his argument that the NIV 2011 gets it badly wrong.
One cannot underestimate the importance of 1 Timothy 2:12 in the intra-evangelical debate over gender roles and women in ministry. There is a reason why countless articles and even an entire book have been written on the interpretation of this single verse. In many ways, this verse is the most disputed text in the debate. It is clear that Paul is prohibiting something, but just what he prohibits has been fiercely contested.
- Sarah Flashing has an excellent post on the subculture of women’s ministry.
The women’s ministry paradigm has been undergoing a subtle but important shift over the last few years. Many evangelical women are now discussing and operating according to an alternative to the emotional, therapeutic, and pretty-in-pink cliché that has dominated for so long, encouraging women to think beyond the contours of the current paradigm and develop a vision for women’s ministry that more actively and intentionally involves the life of the mind. They are identifying and rejecting the experience-driven model as insufficient because without theological substance any impact is merely temporary.
- Allen Yeh comments on Kevlar Theology: or, the Difference between Essentials and Nonessentials.
The solution, as I see it, is what I call “Kevlar theology,” that our theology should be as unbreakable and as elastic as a bulletproof vest.
- Grateful to the Dead has a very helpful post on the sacraments and scaramentality in the Middle Ages.
Sacramentality is the concept that the outward and visible can convey the inward and spiritual. Physical matters and actions can become transparent vehicles of divine activity and presence. In short, sacraments can be God’s love made visible.
Flotsam and jetsam (9/3)
- Apparently iMonk has been getting some pushback for their recent posts on the New Calvinism (anyone surprised?). So, today Mike offers a few responses “with all due respect.”
- You’ve probably heard by now about Stephen Hawking’s declaration that God didn’t create the universe (for good comments see here, here, here, and here). If you want to read more about the book in which Hawking makes this argument, The Grand Design, here is the Washington Post review.
- James Smith explains why you need to pick a specific discipline for your graduate studies.
- Collin Hansen has some great thoughts on the difficulties of pastoral succession.
- Scot McKnight summarizes Allister McGrath’s four ways in which theologians actually have some value for the church. I’m really hoping that there’s more than four, but it’s a start.
- Justin Taylor offers some great resources for reading the Church Fathers.
- Peter Leithart has some great comments on the relationship between low sacramentalism and Arianism.
- Christopher Hitchens responds to the idea that God gave him cancer as punishment for his atheism: “The vengeful deity has a sadly depleted arsenal if all he can think of is exactly the cancer that my age and former “lifestyle” would suggest that I got.”
- And, just in case you’re tempted to get something productive done today, Joe Carter offers 30 videos to distract you while you wait for the labor day weekend.
Flotsam and jetsam (5/27)
- Joe Carter has an interesting post on “Why Evangelicals Love the Jews,” arguing that, at the popular level at least, it has less to do with eschatology than with evangelicalism’s biblicism and general ignorance of history.
- Peter Leithart offers a good summary of Kereszty’s argument that the late middle ages saw a general degeneration of the Eucharist, which the Reformation did much to restore.
- The New York Times has a good piece on the meetings that are taking place between the two most significant leaders in the Orthodox Churches, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. There is hope that these meetings will alleviate some of the tensions that have developed between these two branches of the orthodox church in modern times.
- Over at the Internet Monk, they’ve begun a “new” series rehashing some of their overall criticisms of evangelicalism. If you’re looking for a refresher course in what people mean when they say they’re fed up with contemporary evangelicalism, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
- The Christian Science Monitor has a good article covering the ongoing violence between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria. I haven’t heard much about this recently, and I thought it would be good to highlight so we don’t forget what’s happening over there.
- In a news flash, apparently head banging is bad for your health.
- And, sadly, the Onion reports that the Dread Secretary of Evil Hammond S. Reynolds, head of the U.S. Department of Evil, has issued a statement demanding that all residents of the U.S. must die…as soon as they get the necessary budgetary approvals.
Flotsam and jetsam (5/26)
- First Thoughts offers some thoughts on whether quantum physics renders the doctrine of transubstantiation meaningless.
- I commented a while back on why you should have at least two different versions of your resume. Now, Lifehacker has posted a resource for tracking multiple resumes that could be helpful in the old job search.
- There’s been an extended discussion in the blogosphere on the the speeches of Jesus and recent research into memory and oral traditions. James McGrath offers a helpful summary of the discussion.
- Scot McKnight has an interesting post summarizing statistical information on religious experience.
- JohnDave Medina has posted his summary of Paul Anderson’s lecture on the Gospel of John from the interaction with Marcus Borg at George Fox the other night.
- And, if you need a little retro in your morning, take a look at several classic 1980s music videos Matt Mikalatos has posted.