Weekly Meanderings

Kris and I are in Manheim PA — Lancaster County!

William James: a summary of his famous lectures. (HT: JT)

Rachel’s letter: from an Arminian to young Calvinists: “I share all this with you not to pick a fight but to plead for a truce. As a new generation preparing to tackle the age-old debate about predestination and free will, our positions don’t have to change but our attitudes can. We can criticize one another’s interpretations of the Bible without assuming motive. We can point out the inconsistencies in certain faith traditions without attacking the people in them. We can talk about our disagreements knowing that what we have in common far outweighs our differences, for together we can affirm that Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again! We are the future of the Church and we have an opportunity here to change the tone.”

Gabe Lyons, Jonathan Merritt on the absence of the Christian Right in the 2010 elections: “In large part, it’s because the Christian right has failed to enlist sufficient numbers of young recruits in their movement. As noted in the book UnChristian, most young Americans have been turned off by the religious right’s politics, as well as the judgmentalism and hypocrisy that now marks American Christianity. While faith still informs the way young believers cast votes, it doesn’t express itself in such vicious partisanship as years past. In recent polls, more young Christians self-identify as “centrist” than either “conservative” or “liberal.” Additionally, de-enlisted older Christians increasingly share the sentiments of these un-enlisted young Christians. A cross-generational weariness with the culture wars has set in among all Christians, which partially accounts for their absence in current battles. According to a recent LifeWay Research poll, only 28% of evangelicals believe they will see a significant contribution from current Christian leadership in resolving pressing social concerns.”

That pic to the right is from Don Johnson.

Abby’s travels from France to Sweden …

Gentiles who are interested in Torah observance. Jews who drink beer in biblical times: “Homan thinks these two verses are a reference to the cakes of bread used in the brewing of ancient beer. Thus the sage of Ecclesiastes is advising his hearers to make beer and drink it with friends because no one knows when future calamity is coming.”

As always, serious words about serious issues by CAS.

Speaking of serious. Did you see this by Roger Olson? “My main concern is for the children of poverty.  I know what it is like to be a poor child.  From the age of 2 until 4 (at least) I lived in poverty.  I can remember eating only penny candy for lunch because there was nothing else in the house to eat.  (I was living with a poor family after my mother died; the family ate only one meal each week–Sunday dinner after church.  Otherwise it was pretty much find and eat what you can.  The house sat in the poorest neighborhood of the city with no indoor plumbing.  Medical care consisted of an occasional visit to a nurse at the Settlement House down the street.)”

Meanderings in the News

1. Anton Ono, good story.

2. The Aussies are doing it: “The Australians are riding a commodity-driven export boom. China, workshop to the world, is gobbling up ever more metal and fossil fuel, much of which comes from Australia. Among Australia’s top commodity exports are coal, iron ore and gold. Unemployment in Australia is just 5.1%. Home prices, which did not fall, average $500,000. Plus, the Australian dollar is at near record highs, equal in value to its U.S. counterpart. That means Australians have lots of cash. In many cases, Allen said his investors are taking out home equity loans to buy U.S. property. That may strike many as an all-too-familiar and risky proposition, but Allen believes it’s safe. He says stricter banking regulations and a rising population will keep his country immune from a housing downturn.”

3. Deborah Tannen: “So the key to why having sisters makes people happier — men as well as women — may lie not in the kind of talk they exchange but in the fact of talk. If men, like women, talk more often to their sisters than to their brothers, that could explain why sisters make them happier. The interviews I conducted with women reinforced this insight. Many told me that they don’t talk to their sisters about personal problems, either.”

4. Female President in Brazil: “As the nation’s first woman to hold the office, [Dilma] Rousseff said she has a mission to fight for more gender equality in Brazil. I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say yes, women can.”

5. Alcohol’s dangers: “ London, England (CNN) — Alcohol ranks “most harmful” among a list of 20 drugs — beating out crack and heroin — according to study results released by a British medical journal. A panel of experts weighed the physical, psychological and social problems caused by the drugs and determined that alcohol was the most harmful overall, according to an article on the study released by The Lancet Sunday. Using a new scale to evaluate harms to individual users and others, alcohol received a score of 72 on a scale of 1 to 100, the study says.”

6. Alzheimers and money management: “The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the largest nongovernmental regulator for securities firms doing business in the United States, recently met with individual financial services companies and the Alzheimer’s Association to formulate guidelines on how to deal with clients who have trouble remembering and reasoning, a problem that is not new but is increasing as the population ages.”

7. Mark Trumbull on employment figures for immigrants and native-borns: “Among the top conclusions: In the year following the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, foreign-born workers posted a net gain of 656,000 jobs, while native-born workers lost 1.2 million. The foreign-born category includes legal and illegal immigrants. As a result of immigrants’ recent job gains, the unemployment rate for immigrant workers fell during this period from 9.3 percent to 8.7 percent, while for native-born workers it rose from 9.2 percent to 9.7 percent. For both groups, unemployment remains far above where it stood before the recession. Although immigrants have been finding employment, the poor job-market conditions have pushed average wages down. Median weekly earnings of foreign-born workers fell 4.5 percent from mid-2009 to mid-2010, compared with a decline of less than 1 percent for native-born workers.”

8. Maureen Dowd, on Obama: “Barack Obama became president by brilliantly telling his own story. To stay president, he will need to show he can understand our story.”

9. I feel bad about this: Irish financial woes and cuts. [Grammar polizei: I don't say feel "badly" because that would describe how well my fingers are working.]

10. Tony Horwitz’s piece on the Civil War: “MY attic office is walled with books on Lincoln and Lee, slavery and secession. John Brown glares from a daguerreotype on my desk. The Civil War is my sanctum — except when my 7-year-old races in to get at the costume box.”

Meanderings in Sports

There is reason to believe and hope the second half of the Bears season will be better. Yep, that’s just the way we do things here in Chicago. SuperBowl or bust!

And I’ve got some sweet swamp land in northern Wisconsin and I just promise there’ll be no Packer fans.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Ron Spross

    The idea that the “Christian right” was absent from this election is ridiculous.

    http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2010/11/bearing-fruit.html

  • http://christineascheller@yahoo.com cas

    Also in Manheim, PA this weekend: http://www.artonthefarmlancaster.com/

  • tscott

    One man’s idea of swamp land is another man’s cathedral. See Aldo Leopold’s “Sand County Almanac”. He was right that land yields a harvest of culture. The Packer culture rules.

  • Nate Yoder

    Welcome back to PA. We really enjoyed and appreciated your visit and input in March.


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