Weekly Meanderings

On the changes in Black theology: “A couple years ago, when the Century asked some leading theologians to name five “essential theology books of the past 25 years,” J. Kameron Carter’s Race: A Theological Account (Oxford University Press, 2008) was one of the few books mentioned more than once and the only one that was published in the past five years. Last year, the Ameri­can Academy of Religion gave its Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion to Willie J. Jennings’s The Christian Imagi­nation: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale University Press, 2010). These two influential works, together with Re­deeming Mulatto: A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity (Baylor University Press, 2010), by Brian Bantum (who studied at Duke with both Carter and Jennings), represent a major theological shift that will—if  taken as seriously as it deserves—change the face not only of black theology but theology as a whole.”

Good for the nuns!

In most cases, use is better than destruction. 11 uses of old church buildings. Twenty beautiful libraries.

Derek Leman gives it back to Shmuley Boteach’s book on Jesus: “The reason I give Kosher Jesus by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach three stars is that one the one hand it deserves five stars for seeking to be a bridge in understanding for Jews and Christians and on the other it deserves one star for being a disappointingly un-studied portrait. That is to say, I agree with Rabbi Boteach in many of his aims, but not in his methods and conclusions about the historical Jesus. Like Rabbi Boteach, I think that Jews and Christians can find much common ground in the actual Jesus, who was and is Jewish through and through. Like him I think that the Jesus of history has been distorted — but in my opinion the culprits are not Peter, Paul, and the alleged “Lucan editors” of the gospels. The culprits are the early Greco-Roman leaders of the Jesus-movement who followed behind Peter and Paul and James and the early leaders.”

Dear Rick Santorum, it’s a good thing kids don’t vote!

O Dan, my friend, do people still even read Rudolf Bultmann? “There are two things that every student of theology should know about Bultmann. The first is the proper meaning of the term demythologize. I sometimes find writers—even ones who really should know better—implying or stating that Rudolf Bultmann’s program of demythologizing was a kernel-from-husk operation. That is, Bultmann was attempting to strip away the husk of myth that encapsuled the historical kernel of Jesus in order to grasp the historically certifiable facts. This is critically mistaken and editorially annoying.”

Mark Regnerus: pastor vs. priest? By the way, Terrance Tiessen’s blog is fully underway.

Good group questions on King Jesus Gospel.

John Byron on grades: “One of the more shocking things that I have encountered since becoming a professor is the sense of entitlement that some students bring with them to the classroom. They assume that because they (1) paid tuition, (2) showed up for class, and (3) submitted the assignments that they therefore deserve an “A” in the course. I confess that I have been forced to disabuse a few from this type of thinking.”

Evangelicalism and machismo: “I was saying that evangelicalism of the 18th century saw one of its missions as challenging the aggressive, arrogant and violent code of machismo that dominated the public imagination of what it was to be a male.”  Part one. [By the way, if you like the posts here click one or more of the share buttons below. They are very slow in showing accurate numbers, but it does help spread the word.]

Meanderings in the News

Surely to become one of the most read entries on Wikipedia.

As Sears the other day the clerks had a little bag slung over the shoulder, and I asked what it was about and the man told me it was an iPad — they are moving registers toward iPads. Sears, you’ve got my attention again! The borg is coming: “Apple is hiring sales executives across the U.S. to get more of its products into Fortune 1000 companies. Microsoft has traditionally dominated the corporate workplace and more than 85% of corporate computers still run some version of Windows software. But products based on Apple operating systems — including Macintosh computers, iPads and iPhones — are increasing in demand.”

It looks like a blog post led to a movement of math professors, and then more, to protest Elzevir (who first published the King James Bible!) and now maybe some changes. Josh Fischman: “A protest against Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific journal publisher, is rapidly gaining momentum since it began as an irate blog post at the end of January. By Tuesday evening, about 2,400 scholars had put their names to anonline pledge not to publish or do any editorial work for the company’s journals, including refereeing papers. The boycott is growing so quickly—it had about 1,800 signers on Monday—that Elsevier officials on Tuesday broke their official silence to respond to protesters’ accusations that they charge too much and support laws that will keep research findings bottled up behind a company paywall.” But the anthropologists disagree, and this is by David Lende: “On November 3rd, 2011, The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy put out a call for public comment on Public Access to Scholarly Publications. A central aim of this review was to seek further guidance on “expanding public access to federally funded peer-reviewed scholarly articles.” On January 12th, 2012, the American Anthropological Association took a firm stance against any further expansion of public access to research. In a letter submitted to the White House, and signed by Executive Director William Davis III on behalf of the Association, the AAA argues that there is already broad scholarly access to published research, and that a move to an open-access model would cripple the Association’s ability to publish its journals. Hence, “no federal government intervention is currently necessary.”

By golly, California’s aiming to do something about it: “How many chargers do you own? One for your cellphone? Another for your laptop? Yet another for your tablet, podcast player or even electric toothbrush? It adds up. If you’ve ever felt a charger when it’s doing its job you know how warm they get. That’s because they’re inefficient: wasting electricity as heat as well as feeding the battery. But new standards recently adopted in California aim to change all that.”

This is what education will look like if the “college is for job preparation” gurus take over. Very disappointing.

US invasion of Iraq and the Church in Iraq: “Rome, Italy, Jan 28, 2012 / 07:03 am (CNA).- U.S. Military Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio says the collapse of Iraq’s Christian population is among the legacies of America’s invasion in 2003. “Yes, you can say in a certain sense that the invasion of Iraq did provoke this tremendous diminution of the Christian population in that country. And what the future holds, that still remains to be seen,” the archbishop for the armed forces told CNA during his visit to Rome on Jan. 16. His comments come only a month after the final pull-out of U.S. troops from Iraq, where they remained following the invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. Aid agencies estimate that over the course of eight years, the Catholic population of Iraq fell from over 800,000, to less than 150,000 now. Archbishop Broglio believes Catholicism suffered after the invasion because of a perceived closeness to its previous ruler. He said Saddam Hussein tended “to trust Catholics, and gave them positions of responsibility.” One prominent Iraqi Catholic was Hussein’s Foreign Minister Tarik Aziz.”

FB Timeline and your future vocation.

Catholic church and feminism, from BigThink by Adam Lee: “In 2009, the Roman Catholic church convened an “apostolic visitation” – a sort of modern-day auto-da-fe – a rare step taken when the Vatican feels that a church-affiliated institution has gone seriously astray. The church officials in charge of the investigation conducted interviews at almost 400 religious institutions throughout the U.S., and this month, they submitted their final report, whose contents as of now are still secret. What is this pervasive evil within the church that the Vatican is so determined to combat? If you guessed “priests who rape children with the knowledge and complicity of their superiors”, you’re thinking like a normal, decent human being, which of course makes you wrong. No, the real subject of the report is something far worse: the Vatican is worried that its nuns are becoming too feminist! As this earlier news report says, the all-male Catholic hierarchy is upset that American nuns aren’t hewing sufficiently to the church line on teachings like gay rights and the restriction of the priesthood to men. Cardinal Franc Rode, who launched the apostolic visitation, said that they were displaying a worrisome “feminist spirit”. And those concerns appear to be well-founded, given that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group representing liberal American nuns, is almost ten times larger than the conservative Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. Some orders have openly refused to cooperate with the inquisition.”

Yawn says empathy.

Will authors go to Amazon?

 

 

Meanderings in Sports

University of Wisconsin — Green Bay Phoenix, one of this season’s women’s NCAA basketball great stories: “ And this season’s team, off to a program-best 19-0 start — the only undefeated team in Division I besides top-ranked Baylor — may add more. Now ranked No. 12, their highest ever, the Phoenix beat four teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences before Christmas, including Georgia Tech and Wisconsin. Coach Matt Bollant, coincidentally, interviewed for the Wisconsin job that went to Bobbie Kelsey last April. “The fact that they do it at the national level, competing against programs with a budget 10 times what we do, recruiting from a base that’s 10 times what we have — it’s an amazing story of success,” said Jeanne Barta Stangel, an associate athletic director and former Phoenix standout whose No. 23 jersey has been retired.”

Big changes in golf coming — from John Feinstein. (If I could change something it would be that you can mark your ball only once per time on green, unless you have to stand in someone’s line of putting.) Take.Forever.

I don’t know the solution here, but this will get much worse before we begin to resolve it.

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.

  • Susan N.

    ‘The New (Black) Theology’ – there may be hope for us (American Christians) yet! I’m no theologian or historian, but the perspectives outlined in this article seemed to hit the nail right on the head, imho. Very eloquently stated, in fact.

    I couldn’t help thinking that in Romans 9-11, Paul was trying to tell us the very same thing? Also thinking on Stephen Rankin’s comment at #124 of the ‘John Piper, what he said’ post (yesterday), and how much good news ‘The New Theology’ could be to heal the disenfranchisement of males — particularly non-white males — from society, and thus from the church which is, sadly, too often only a reflection of the society (and all its cultural and political ills and wrong-thinking).

  • Susan N.

    Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph – Cleveland: Go, fight, win! I loved the newscaster’s closing question: “What kind of power do these nuns actually have?” Ha! God-power, dude… Let justice roll down, and I’m cheering for the nuns to be the ones to open the floodgate.

    Thanks Scot and Kris. Two terrific links right off the bat this Saturday morning. Better than my morning coffee infusion to start my day off right! :-)

  • JohnM

    In middle age I might be tempted to blame student’s sense of entitlement (See John Byron) on ‘kids nowdays’ except I observed something similar when I was in college. Back then it did seem to be less a sense of entitlement and more of a crass quid pro quo – on the part of business majors in this case – ‘I need the credentials, I paid for them, give me what I purchased’.

  • DB

    On…”This is what education will look like if the “college is for job preparation” gurus take over. Very disappointing.” I have a question… Why should a young person borrow thousands of dollars to go to college if they will not be able to repay without gainful employment as a result of that education?

    My thought… Preparation for employed career is a part of the responsibility of the higher education experience. Please show me where I’m misguided in this. I did read the article. What was the most specific concern(s) that the article raised in your mind?

  • Susan N.

    One more: Mark Sayers’ evangelicalism and machismo, part one. John Newton’s ‘Amazing Grace’ – what an excellent example of a man whose strength and courage was transformed and realigned in the image of Christ, and in His service.

  • RJS

    The link to the UWGB Phoenix is clearly the sports story of the year … from my totally unbiased and analytical perspective.

    (Ok – in interest of full disclosure, my niece plays for UWGB)

  • scotmcknight

    DB, Yes “part” but not the whole. The article grinds education through the pragmatic. We should like education more for what it does to us than for us.

  • Fred

    John Byron is my new hero. Would that we could use that approach when teaching/learning Bible in our churches. Of course, all hell would break loose but it’s worth a try.

  • Pat Pope

    And I can attest (sort of) to what Dr. Byron is saying. I didn’t have him for Greek–I had one of his colleagues–but we heard the stories from his students. But truthfully, I’d rather be in a class with a prof from whom I’m feeling challenged. I don’t want the easy A. I want to feel as though I’ve worked for it and generally, those who challenge you, make good scholars out of you.

  • Pat Pope

    On the sexually active popes–does that just apply to the papacy or any popes?? :)

  • DB

    Scot,

    Thank you for responding. I agree with you. The article did focus on the economic aspects of the college education. It should be preparation for both vocation and employment. It is too expensive, though, to sidebar the livelihood aspect.

  • http://krusekronicle.com Michael W. Kruse

    With regard to the church in Iraq, I had the opportunity to visit our PCUSA partner denominations in Lebanon/Syria and in Egypt last September. The feeling there was that same thing that happened in Iraq is about to happen in Syria because of misguided U.S. foreign policy. There was strong agreement that there is need for Assad to reform and pressure needs to be applied to make that happen. But removing Assad from power in pursuit of “democracy” will likely lead to a Sunni Islamists state and the mass exodus Syrian Christians. Assad is from a minority Muslim sect and the policy has been one of religious tolerance. “Democracy” will likely dissolve that fabric that has made it possible for the various religious minorities to co-exist. The frustration for Middle-East Christians is the American belief in democracy as the panacea for every political problem. Power has to be calibrated more creatively than just “democracy” in these cultures with longstanding ethnic minorities living in close proximity.

    Furthermore, the U. S. Congress passed a resolution a few months ago about protecting Christian minorities in Muslim countries. This met with universal disfavor among the Christians I meet in my visit. The resolution has the effect of identifying Christians with the West and in opposition to Islam. Civil society will only be created by moderate Muslims partnering with minority Christians and identifying Christians with Western interests does not help. If the U. S. wants to be helpful they should be pushing for civil society and rule of law for everyone in Muslim countries and not singling out Christians.

    Our engagement with these societies is frequently ill informed and simplistic.


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