Dear Mr CS Lewis, tell me a story about a castle!
We are praying for those suffering from the tornados in the Midwest,
and for the students in Ohio after the senseless shooting.
Wendy McCaig: “It was at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond that Junia finally found a place in my world thanks to the brilliant and passionate teaching of Dr. Scott Spencer. Even though Dr. Spencer laid a strong biblical foundation for the role of women in ministry based on the New Testament, I still lived with the fear of once again being silenced by the church. Upon graduation from seminary, I choose not to enter into the institutional church nor to pursue ordination within the Baptist tradition. It was far easier for this Junia to find her voice and exercise her call outside the church. In the nearly ten years since I began my ministry, my voice has grown stronger and my fear of being shoved back into a box of silence has diminished. God has brought affirming male pastors like Pastor Sammy Williams into my life – men who recognized me as a pastor and affirmed my call to ministry even ministry within the Baptist tradition. So here I am at age 45 hearing God’s call to re-engage in the institutional expression of the church. Not as a staff member but as one who has discovered the church beyond the walls and the pews.”
If you’ve got time for a sermon, listen to this.
David Fitch has taken a 6 month sabbatical from blogging. I’ve always argued that hockey players are not as tough as golfers.
Brad Wright and “attribution theory” — worth a good read.
Shane Scott: “As a child growing up in Kentucky, I knew very few Christians at church who were Republican. Most of the people in my grandfather’s generation were Democrats because they thought the Republicans looked out for the special interests, while the Democrats cared for the common man. Those days the key “moral issues” were economic. Now, the tide has turned the other way, and most evangelicals identify themselves as Republican because of a different set of moral issues. I don’t think it is good for Christians to fall under the sway of any party. My plea to Christians is simple: please do not allow worldly political parties to artificially divide the teachings of the Bible into sets of issues we will care about and won’t care about. We need to care about everything the Bible says.”
Patrick on some thoughts on hope.
Derek Leman on a scuffle about christology/deity of Christ among messianists.
J.R. Daniel Kirk: “In practicing a narrative theology, the overarching conviction is that the revelation of God is a story: the story of the creator God, at work in Israel, to redeem and reconcile the world through the story of Jesus. Part of what this means for me is the possibility of transformation, reconfiguration, and even leaving behind of earlier moments in the story as later scenes show us the way forward and, ultimately, the climactic saving sequence. This is one point at which I differ from N. T. Wright. Regularly in Wright’s writing we will find statements such as, “This is what God was up to all along.” I don’t disagree here. But what often goes unspoken, and where I think we need to be more clear, is that one only knows “this is what God was up to all along” once one is already convinced that “this new thing is actually what God is up to.”
Out of Ur’s post on Mark Dever probing John Stott’s perception of gospel and justice. (Dever stands with Martin Lloyd-Jones, if you know what that means. I’m not sure Dever does justice to Stott.)
LaVonne Neff on apostrophes. (Note to self: If you like writing, and you don’t like this piece by Ms. Neff, then you don’t like writing.)
I quoted Ron Sider, who quoted Pastor Toms, who quoted Upton Sinclair, who was misunderstood by Toms, and then also by Sider and then so too McKnight.
Meanderings in the News
Good story: “Over the last three months, living in a chilly tent on the roof of a vacant South Side motel, there were several times when the Rev. Corey Brooks questioned whether his vigil against gun violence was worth it. He was often jolted awake by gunshots. He missed his son’s birthday and other family celebrations. He and his wife, who is afraid of heights, were limited to phone calls, Internet video chats, and a smile and a wave when she arrived at work at his church across the street. But at about 6 p.m. Friday, Brooks waved triumphantly as he was lowered to the ground by a hydraulic lift. A large crowd cheered his touch down in a block-partylike atmosphere. “We’re here tonight because of young men who have lost their lives,” Brooks told the crowd. “We’re here tonight because on any given night on the South Side of Chicago or the West Side of Chicago some young black man could be killed and his life could be gone prematurely.” Earlier in the day, a pledge of $98,000 (later changed to $100,000) from movie mogul Tyler Perry provided the final push for reaching the pastor’s goal of raising $450,000 to buy and demolish the decrepit motel, a haven for drugs and prostitution.”
The never-ending scuffles in Jerusalem and Israel over archaeology, especially in and around the Temple mount, by Guilio Meotti: “Twelve years ago, on October 7, 2000, Arabs armed with pick-axes and hammers attacked Joseph’s tomb, Judaism’s fourth holy site, smashing the stone structure and ripping it apart, brick by brick. They burned Jewish books and religious articles and subsequently began to attempt transforming the site into a mosque. The same holds true of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where Israeli governments have failed to stand up to wanton Palestinian acts of desecration. It’s the greatest crime of all – a religious and cultural crime of historic proportions. UNESCO cried when the Taliban bombed the two Buddhas in Bamyan. But this time the UN didn’t say a thing. In Jerusalem, the Arabs are committing an archaeological crime intolerable to any cultured person, regardless of his political identity. Let’s call it archeological Holocaust.”
What happened to Google+?
The Whale industry, the story: “One hundred and fifty years ago, around the time Herman Melville was completing Moby Dick, whaling was a booming worldwide business and the United States was the global behemoth. In 1846, we owned 640 whaling ships, more than the rest of the world put together and tripled. At its height, the whaling industry contributed $10 million (in 1880 dollars) to GDP, enough to make it the fifth largest sector of the economy. Whales contributed oil for illuminants, ambergris for perfumes, and baleen, a bonelike substance extracted from the jaw, for umbrellas. Fifty years later, the industry was dead. Our active whaling fleet had fallen by 90 percent. The industry’s real output had declined to 1816 levels, completing a century’s symmetry of triumph and decline. What happened? And why does what happened still matter?”
Andrew Delbanco’s piece on the value (not economic) of a good education.
Imagination and creativity — they scare us — Maria Konnikova: “Creativity: now there’s a word I thought I wouldn’t see under attack. Don’t we live in a society that thrives on the idea of innovation and creative thought? The age of the entrepreneur, of the man of ideas, of Steve Jobs and the think different motto? Well, yes and no. That is, indisputably yes on the surface. But no in a way that you might not expect: we may say we value creativity, we may glorify the most imaginative among us, but in our heart of hearts, imagination can scare us.”
Can we decode dreams? “Even if those devices improve by leaps and bounds, reading a sleeping mind poses great, perhaps insurmountable challenges. The greatest of them is that you cannot really compare the images and stories you reconstruct with what a person actually dreamt. After all, our memories of our dreams are hazy at the best of times. “You have no ground-truthing,” says Gallant. It is like compiling a dictionary between one language and another that you cannot actually read. One day, we might be able to convert the activity of dreaming neurons into sounds and sights. But how would we ever know that we have done it correctly?”
Meanderings in Sports
Here’s what bothers me about the Ryan Braun stereoid issue: MLB voted against him, the union for him, and the arbitrator for him. If this story (link above) is accurate, MLB is playing politics and not reason. Now the one who carried out the test claims he did everything in the normal way.
Bring back the days of Johnny Wooden!
Speaking of breaking rules, it appears the Ducks have been cheating. Should have known from those stealth uniforms. “A NCAA investigation into the Oregon football program has come to a preliminary conclusion that the Ducks broke rules in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 according to documents released by the school on Friday.”
Why do major league baseball managers wear uniforms? “Basketball and hockey coaches wear business suits on the sidelines. Football coaches wear team-branded shirts and jackets and often ill-fitting pleated khakis. Why are baseball managers the only guys who wear the same outfit as their players?”
Dave Duerson’s family is suing the NFL; David Haugh points to the ironies of their suit.