Weekly Meanderings

We begin with a little announcement for you readers of these Weekly Meanderings. It’s hard to believe, but this is the 300th edition of our Weekly Meanderings. Hard to believe, but it sure shows we’ve got some stamina: Kris and I producing this little Saturday set of links and you folks in reading them. Thanks.

Brian Mashburn on “who is in and who is out.” Krish Kandiah asks if Christianity is supposed to be masculine: “For Paul it would seem that a predominantly masculine Christianity would betray the logic that Christ is all and in all. In fact it is interesting that the traits that Paul mentions to describe the people of God here (renewed, holy, beloved, compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient) aren’t those that Piper mentions for his masculine Christianity. Piper’s selective reading of scripture means he could end up promoting a deformed Christianity rather than a fully biblical one. Something I am sure he would not wish to see.:

Tim Chester: “Jesus didn’t run projects, establish ministries, create programs, or put on events. He ate meals. If you routinely share meals and you have a passion for Jesus, then you’ll be doing mission. It’s not that meals save people. People are saved through the gospel message. But meals will create natural opportunities to share that message in a context that resonates powerfully with what you’re saying.”

You a fan of Calvin and Hobbes (not the theologian, not the philosopher)? Check this out.

How to be a Christian on Facebook? Read this piece by Laura Singleton… three good suggestions.

Fascinating: with more and more adult children living with parents, we will also see significant economic shifts in the USA: “TFT: If this generation, who has lived with their parents and always had a support system, fall on hard times, how are they going to deal with it? How could this affect them psychologically?
KN: Psychologically it will be difficult and materially it will be difficult. Young people won’t get into the housing market because they can’t. They won’t accumulate equity like earlier generations did. They won’t have the resources to help their parents when they’re elderly. They’re going to be waiting for an inheritance which may not be there. The whole run-up to that accumulation that defined middle class life in the past will not happen, or won’t happen in the same way. My parents bought their first house when they were 23 and 25. I bought my first house when I was nearly 30. I don’t think my children will be in the homeownership market until they’re closer to mid-30s or older. In a system like ours where so much of a family’s wealth is tied up in housing, that affects the overall wealth profile and distribution across the country. And that matters for everything – retirement, helping the older generation, affording a college education – there’s virtually no aspect of American material life that’s left unaffected by this.”

Jim Martin, pastor (er, preacher), tells some of his story of depression: “Charlotte and I visited with a friend of ours, a physician, about this. Our friend suggested that I was experiencing some depression. She wanted me to see a counselor, but I might not have done so without her encouragement because I wasn’t motivated to do anything (part of depression). I saw a Christian counselor for six months and took an anti-depressant during that time. Seeing this counselor every other week was a life-changing experience. Nothing happened overnight, but months later Charlotte and I could definitely tell that things were better. I was handling the stress that I was experiencing in my ministry much better.”

Meanderings in the News

Florida’s problems include gator-eating pythons.

Canadian scholars are examining mind and brain, Modern Psychologist: “In sum, an objective science looking solely at facilitative mechanism (e.g. the brain), will no longer be able to comprehend or explain the meaning or true cause of the subjective property it wants to understand (e.g. the mind). Paradigmatic faiths will prevent us from challenging our dogmatically held theoretical preferences for a mechanistic account of the human mind. But I am not the only one who is skeptical and willing to challenge these views – you will not find these folks in your pop-science books… look instead to the peer reviewed journals that discuss issues related to theoretical psychology. It is there that you will find the critical thinkers – and if they exist, then there might be hope that someday logic will prevail.” And Paul and Patricia Churchland exploring oxytocin and compassion: “A biological experiment is turning out to have groundbreaking implications for ethics, as well as boosting the career of a high-flying B.C.-raised neuroscientist. In a study of humans playing a cooperative game involving money, researchers recently discovered that they could make subjects more generous by spraying the hormone oxytocin into their noses.”

Seven lessons learned in the transition from communism to post-communism economics, by Andre Schleifer.

Homeschoolers and public school sports: “Patrick Foss is a top teenage soccer player who plans to graduate a semester early and enter the University of Virginia next January. His neighbor is a point guard on the local public high school basketball team in northern Virginia. Next fall, Patrick, 17, would like to try out as a kicker on the football team at Freedom High School in South Riding, Va., but he is home-schooled and thus ineligible. “My parents pay the same exact taxes as my next-door neighbor who plays varsity sports,” he said. “I just want to be part of the community. You shouldn’t have to pick between athletics and academics.”

A hotly contested bill that passed the Republican-controlled House of Delegates in the Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday would change that, permitting home-schooled students to play varsity sports at public high schools. The Virginia bill is the latest attempt by home-schooling advocates around the country to gain greater access to extracurricular activities at public schools.

Henry Porter, taking on Jonathan Franzen on the danger of e-books and e-reading: “This orthodoxy about our attention-deficit is not proven, but the obvious point is we still have a choice between screen or print, which is likely to remain, because people will always take pleasure in reading a work on the page, admiring the paper and typefaces (admittedly rare), marking a passage, gauging how long to the end of the chapter or book, lending it or giving to a friend, taking it down from the shelf again, remembering exactly what that book meant to you when you first read it and being surrounded by your books, your taste, your history of reading.”

Nona Willis Aronowitz, most Americans want a walkable neighborhood.

By A.N. Devers — on Dickens: “For some in England, this year is all about the London Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee. For me, though—and, it turns out, quite a few others—it’s all about Charles Dickens, who was born 200 years ago today. I live in New York, but with some persistence and good fortune I found myself this morning an American in London, with a ticket to Westminster Abbey’s “Wreathlaying Ceremony to Commemorate the Bicentenary of the Birth of Charles Dickens.” In the line outside, blue ticket in hand, I listened to Dickens’s descendants in the queue chat and catch up as if this was an ordinary family reunion. Several jokingly uttered, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” like it was the personal family motto on their coat of arms. One woman, in a pink coat and miniature purple-velvet top-hat fascinator, told her relatives about being interviewed earlier in the morning. She hadn’t had time for breakfast. (Her young cousin handed her a chocolate brioche he had in his pocket.) Dickens had ten children; more than 200 of his relatives reportedly came to today’s service.

Two words: O mercy! “Coal Township, PA Please make sure you read all of the information thoroughly before contacting us. This is where we stand. We are not here to debate and argue. If you meet these qualifications feel free to contact us. If you fail to meet these qualifications please do not waste our time. We are currently looking for a Pastor for our church in Coal Township, PA. Currently we hold services once a week at my home with our 6 members with me teaching due to the lack of a Biblically based church in our area. We are looking for a Pastor who is BIBLICALLY QUALIFIED and KING JAMES ONLY! We also need a Pastor who is constantly reading and studying God’s word…. [it goes on].

Meanderings in Sports

Here we go, folks. Baseball is coming, and the pitchers and catchers will be reporting soon. Keep your eye on the Cubs this season.

Dear Payton Manning, Retire.

Dear Tom Brady, If the Boston fans don’t like you, Chicago fans will love you. Boston fans have short memories.

Compressing the NBA season means instead of lots of bad games every week, we have way too many bad games every week.

How can Memphis be part of the Big East? This stuff no longer makes sense.

About Scot McKnight

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

  • http://www.themissionalmom.com Helen Lee

    Perhaps you are right about the NBA (I’m not enough of a fan to know)…but at the same time there is the current Jeremy Lin phenomenon going on and that has been a real source of joy and inspiration for many, particularly for Asian American men. (Will write about this more in the future!)

  • http://adammclane.com Adam McLane

    Two thought on your last statement;
    1. San Diego State is in the Big East, now that is crazy!
    2. Why is DePaul in the Big East? They are horrid.

  • http://browardemergent.blogspot.com/ Steve

    Congratulations, Kris & Scot, on the 300th edition! Weekly Meanderings has become a favorite staple of Saturday mornings, along with a good cup of fair-trade, organic, shade-grown coffee. Basic.

  • SuperStar

    Actually I watched several NBA games last night and they all were pretty exciting and the teams actually played good defense. SO, while I am ho-hum about the NBA, I was pleasantly surprised that they almost felt like college games.

  • pat

    Wow..beautiful picture.
    Just heard and read about Jeremy Lin of the NY Knicks!
    I’ll check him out more often now.
    Congrats on #300. Amazing!

  • Jason Lee

    Re “Fascinating” … isn’t this trend largely a result of the way we’ve organized our economy–with a few people making a killing and many barely making ends meet let alone doing things like buying a house at age 30. Just another symptom of the hollowing out of America’s middle class and their weakened position in paying for basics like higher ed and health care. As Christians, why should we surprised that powerful people’s greed hurts lots of ordinary people and constrains their opportunities in comparison with those of their parents?

  • pepy

    What? No Jeremy Lin links?

  • JenG

    Love Calvin and Hobbes AND theology/psychology? Check out this!!! http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2008/11/theology-of-calvin-and-hobbes-table-of.html

  • http://antiitchmeditation.wordpress.com jeff weddle

    “keep your eyes on the Cubs this season?”

    For what purpose, so as not to run them over?

  • Susan N.

    Happy 300th edition of WM, Scot and Kris! Meandering through these consistently excellent links each Saturday morning, and thinking on these things, has enriched my experience on the Net. I’m grateful for the blessing of your edifying, encouraging presence amidst a cacophony of “voices” in Cyberland. :-)

    So many noteworthy links to ponder in this collection of WM’s… I will keep it short and pick one for commentary.

    From ‘Modern Psychologist’ – The “Mind” Does Not Reduce to the “Brain”: *synaptogenesis* and *neurogenesis* – hopeful terminology, indeed. I can’t help but think of Romans 12:1,2. Aaaaannnnddd, I owe you one (Scot and Kris) for the recent review — and by extension, I take it personal recommendation — of Paul Simon’s ‘So Beautiful, or So What.’ In regards to the competing psychological theories (reductionist or more holistic), I was reminded of some lyrics from the CD.

    “But the CAT scan’s eye sees what the heart’s concealing
    Now-a-days, when everything is known” (from ‘Dazzling Blue’), and certainly the words in their entirety from the song ‘Rewrite.’ It is probably my favorite!

  • tess

    Interesting thots about economic impact due to adult children living with parents. The author’s comments about age of his parents and of himself when they bought their first houses may or may not be predictive. Case in point: my younger sibling bought his first house at the age of 19. He now lives in a one room trailer that he doesn’t own. Bought my first house at the age of 40 and still there. He should have had a great deal of equity now, but has none. Lots of variables involved.

  • Alan K

    College athletic conferences are no longer about geography. Conference alignment nowadays merely reflects a world that believes location is not all that constitutive of our reality.

  • http://www.seekingfaithfulnessblog.blogspot.com Holly

    I’m gonna have to agree that Patrick Foss should be able to play extracurricular.

    I’ve been a homeowner and a home-schooler for the same amount of time. I’ve always paid taxes and supported my local schools, and not asked (nor received) a thing in return. I give to all of the kids who come to my door to fundraise for their classes. I’ve bought more over-priced cookies than I care to admit over the decades, just to show support to the neighborhood kids. (Grin.)

    Then, I’ve turned around and spent my own $$$ to buy books to educate my children at home. I’ve paid for their gym classes, spanish classes, music classes, testing services, etc. I’ve never begrudged it.

    But if I had a top-notch soccer player son (as Elizabeth Foss and her husband do…Elizabeth is a very popular homeschooling blogger, very accomplished, has written her own curriculum guides and published them…) and he desired to play at the high school level – I’d hope that he’d be able to do so.

    From *this* side of things, after having successfully raised two children (and with 7 more working their way thru the grades) there is *no* support nor feedback for the child who excels in a homeschool setting. Make great grades? No dean’s list, no name published in the local paper. Win a contest (as my children often do, whether essay or photography, creative writing…) and well, if your mom doesn’t put it in the paper then no one hears about it. No awards ceremony or banquet, no…nothing.

    I would like to think there is some happy medium that could be found for both sides of the equation. We support your kids, you support ours – that sort of thing. Besides – the highschool would gain a great player and perhaps win a championship with Patrick on their team.

  • http://bobcornwall.com Bob Cornwall

    Don’t we keep our eye on the Cubs every year? Since, what 1908?

  • Joe Canner

    From the very end of the Coal Township, PA, job posting:

    “We also believe the King James is the inspired word of God in English! We do not believe in going back to the Greek, Hebrew, Chaldean, Sand Script, Native American, Cave paintings, or Finger Paintings by children to “interpret” Gods word. God can speak English just fine and since he promised to preserve his word there is no need to go outside the English language to find it.”


  • Larry Barber

    I particularly liked the “Sand Script”, part. That, and they seem to think that “thee” is the Elizabethan “the”, which should make for some interesting teachings.

  • Debbie

    I think God would love to sit down and finger paint with His children. Then have hot dogs and pickles with His kids. Then run around and throw water balloons with His kids. I don’t think God would much like sitting in that Coal Township church.

  • http://onliving.wordpress.com tallandrew

    Re: Homeschoolers and football – it defies the purpose of a school football team if people who aren’t members of the school are allowed to join… Why not join a community team instead?