Preaching is way too sacred for this. Brad’s using “plagiarize” in a way I wouldn’t, I think sermons ought to be fresh and personal, but the use the work of others entirely acceptable — and communicated clearly.
Thomas Kidd chides strident approaches: “Stephens and Giberson’s New York Times piece generated indignation in the conservative blogosphere, revealing the perils of their approach. I suspect that nearly all evangelicals in academia, and many rank-and-file Christians, would sympathize with at least some of Stephens and Giberson’s concerns. (For full disclosure, note that I am a friend of Randall Stephens, and I am credited in The Anointed for helping with their chapter on evangelical history). But I am concerned that Stephens and Giberson’s tone seems so hostile toward their adversaries, and toward “fundamentalists” generally, that they will reach few beyond the already convinced…. [And then this:] Giberson and Stephens don’t give evangelical readers much guidance on how to draw the line between wisely appropriating mainstream scholarship and abandoning essentials of the faith.” [Another cheer for the fine work by the folks at Patheos for all the fine bloggers they have now collected.]
Roger Olson regarding JI Packer’s representations of Arminianism: “Today I received an e-mail from a reader who asked why I didn’t mention J. I. Packer in either Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities or Against Calvinism. That’s a good question. I didn’t, so now I will. To the best of my knowledge, the only lengthy, detailed treatment of Arminianism in print by Packer was his Introduction to John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ in A Quest for Godliness. It may be found at this web address:http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/packer_intro.html. There Packer, a Calvinist, completely misrepresents Arminianism. It’s truly shocking how distorted his understanding of Arminianism was then. I don’t know if it’s improved since then or not.” And then Roger gives kudos to Packer for another study.
Allan Bevere on Joe Paterno: we see again that legal and moral are not the same.
Meanderings in the News
Memory is fascinating, and many of us first became intrigued with memory in reading Augustine’s Confessions. Recent developments in memory research show fascinating new insights, like this one that connects memory to space as reported by Christian Jarrett: “Like information in a book, unfolding events are stored in human memory in successive chapters or episodes. One consequence is that information in the current episode is easier to recall than information in a previous episode. An obvious question then is how the mind divides experience up into these discrete episodes? A new study led by Gabriel Radvansky shows that the simple act of walking through a doorway creates a new memory episode, thereby making it more difficult to recall information pertaining to an experience in the room that’s just been left behind.”
Baby wooly mammoths: “The new results “complicate our view of mammoth development” and suggests that there may be more variability in developmental timing than previously thought, remarks team member Daniel Fisher of the University of Michigan. The differences between the two female baby mammoths could indicate that they belonged to different species. Alternatively, woolly mammoth anatomy may have varied through time and from region to region.”
Rise of entrepreneurship among college students: “Similar scenes are playing out on college campuses across the country, where an explosion of new pitch sessions, business plan competitions and entrepreneurship courses are catering to a new kind of student entrepreneur. Driven by a desire to find personal fulfillment along with a paycheck, and by a sour economy that makes traditional employment seem just as risky as starting a business, members of the so-called millennial generation — the 20-something children of the baby boomers — are increasingly forgoing traditional career paths and are hatching business plans based on social responsibility and their own passions, interests and ideals. “The down economy has made students realize that there may not be a cushy job at the end of this rainbow,” says Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center. “So they’re taking their destiny into their own hands.”
Those Irish. “VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Catholic Ireland’s stunning decision to close its embassy to the Vatican is a huge blow to the Holy See’s prestige and may be followed by other countries which feel the missions are too expensive, diplomatic sources said on Friday. The closure brought relations between Ireland and the Vatican, once ironclad allies, to an all-time low following the row earlier this year over the Irish Church’s handling of sex abuse cases and accusations that the Vatican had encouraged secrecy. Ireland will now be the only major country of ancient Catholic tradition without an embassy to the Vatican.”
Amy Sullivan on Michigan’s anti-bullying legislation: “As a transplanted Michigander, I’ve always maintained pride in my home state. I’ve only owned American cars. I believed in the Lions even during the really dismal years. I still point to my hand to show people which part of the state I’m from. But the Michigan legislature is doing its best to make me hang my head in shame. On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled state senate passed an anti-bullying bill that manages to protect school bullies instead of those they victimize. It accomplishes this impressive feat by allowing students, teachers, and other school employees to claim that “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” justifies their harassment.”
The budget is important for retirees, with Tom Lauricella: “The first step in building a budget is to understand where your money goes. Mint.com provides a free online-based service that makes it easy to track spending. Then comes the hard part. Most people equate belt-tightening with giving up those $4 coffees. But that kind of savings will only go so far. “The main area where a lot of retirees can make a substantial difference is by looking at their housing,” says Christine Benz, director of personal finance at Morningstar. With housing, it’s important to be practical. Selling a house in which children were raised and memories linger can be emotionally challenging. Even after deciding to sell a house, it can be hard to avoid the temptation to get a home or apartment with more bedrooms than you really still need. It’s also easy to want to put downsizing off into the future. But the sooner money can be saved, the bigger the impact on a long-term budget.”
Eric Jaffe on the negatives of a long commute: “Their finding, reported earlier this week in the journal. Broadly speaking, a long commute corresponded with several negative health outcomes. Poor sleep quality, exhaustion, and low general health were linked most strongly with lengthy commutes, though stress was apparent as well. The only negative health connection the researchers failed to confirm was long commutes and low mental health.”
Naomi Wolf on the Occupy movement and what can be learned. “Finally, we should understand that it is not a “list of demands” that is so profound about any of these protest movements; it is the very infrastructure of a common humanity that is being created. For decades, the global family has been told to keep its head down and leave leadership to the elites; in wealthy countries, to zone out in front of TV or at the mall; in the rest of the world, to submit to poverty and drudgery. What is transformative about the protest movement is that people are emerging and encountering one another face to face and remembering the habits of freedom: face to face, they build new institutions, new relationships and new organisations. And, I hope, pass laws sooner rather than later to demilitarise the police; ban Tasers and rubber bullets; criminalise police and politician violence against free speech activities; demand prosecutions for financial fraud; compel the corporate books that unaccountably swallow billions in tax revenue to be audited; investigate torturers; bring home soldiers from corporate wars of choice – and rebuild society, this time from the grassroots up, accountably, lawfully and democratically.”
Meanderings in Sports
Very sad in my view that nothing was done to Steve Williams for his incendiary racist remark: “It says a lot about golf that in the wake of Williams’s [racist, vulgar] comment the sport’s firmament has offered almost no critique. The HSBC is part of the PGA Tour’s attempt to colonize Asia, and in the 24 hours after the Williams story broke there was not a peep about it on pgatour.com, nor did any Tour official weigh in. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and European tour chief executive George O’Grady have since issued a statement. The takeaway is that Williams will go unpunished, spared even a symbolic slap on the wrist. (If he worked for a large corporation, Williams would have already been fired.) The messiness of real life doesn’t fit with the Stepford image the PGA Tour tries to peddle to sponsors. Players like Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter refused to comment, while Adam Scott mouthed a version of the company line in saying, “I think everything in that room was all in good spirits and for a bit of fun. And I think [what Williams said] probably got taken out of that room in the wrong context.”
There are two reasons: (1) many players despise Woods and (2) racism is alive and well in golf. But the PGA should be ashamed of itself for not issuing an immediate denunciation and discipline of Williams.