Weekly Meanderings: January 12, 2013

Roger Olson‘s once again giving Calvinists the raspberries for failing to represent Arminians accurately: “I hope to see the day when no Calvinist author will write about Arminian theology without representing it correctly and fairly. I had hoped that by now that would be the case. My hopes were dashed by McGowan (and his editor whom I hold partly responsible for the errors and misrepresentations in the book). All I can say is “it could have been worse.” I’ve read worse. But that’s no excuse. We all (Calvinists and Arminians and everyone else) need to bend over backwards to be fair in our treatments of fellow evangelicals’ theologies. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement so long as it is informed and fair. Being fair, in my book, necessarily includes admitting that fellow evangelicals with whom you disagree do not actually believe what you say are the (bad) “good and necessary consequences” of their explicit beliefs. I followed that principle carefully in Against Calvinism where I made clear that my main concerns have to do with the good and necessary consequences of what Calvinists believe.” [The same can be said about comprehending Anabaptists — as if reading an essay by Hauerwas or a book by Sider or something by Yoder means comprehending this deep tradition. I wonder how many Calvinists have ever read the Schleitheim Confession, or Balthasar Hubmaier, I could go on…]

This is what I call “instrumental” fasting and “benefititis” in my Fasting book: “What is the secret to deeper intimacy with the Lord? How can I know God’s perfect will? How can I release the anointing, favor and blessing of God in my life? For me, fasting has been the answer to these and other deep questions—the key for obtaining open doors, miraculous provision, favor and the tender touch of God upon my life” (Jentezen Franklin).

Three things not to be said about scholarship — by Pete Enns, and I agree with each of these.

Which philosophers do the philosophers like?

First time I read about YOLO: “Thinking about making a resolution for the new year? How about a motto that will last all year? That’s what rapper Drake did in 2012 with YOLO, the ubiquitous, often grating acronym (and noun/verb/adjective) that made it onto Oxford’s shortlist for word of the yearYou only live once/That’s the motto, he sang way back in 2011, setting a cultural touchstone: The New York Times called it “the new LOL,” and Katie Couric attempted to turn it into the new “bucket list”. EventuallyYOLO started popping up, often ironically, im the Twitter feeds of people my age around the middle of 2012.”

A cold shoulder for difficult times.

Meanderings in the News

Advice for parents with kids on screen time.

Amy Rogers Nazarov and post-adoption depression: “By late March I had lost interest in eating or even getting out of bed. I burst into tears daily, upsetting Ari and Jake. I withdrew from the baby we’d longed for even as I was terrified that the social worker overseeing our post-placement period would take Jake away if I let on how awful I felt. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t embrace motherhood as so many of my friends — both “bio” moms and adoptive ones — had done? I’d never been depressed in my life, but at age 39, I was now facing a full-blown bout. Everyone has heard about postpartum depression, which can be triggered when hormones go haywire after a woman has given birth and is coping with the exhausting, round-the-clock demands of an infant. But new research has focused on what I unexpectedly felt four years ago: post-adoption depression. And it turns out it’s not that uncommon. Major problems stirring — toward civil war — in Nigeria. “Inter-religious clashes have been all too common in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, where 170 million people are almost equally divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a mainly Christian south.”

Mispronounced words.

Magdala: “In the time of Jesus, Magdala was a thriving fishing village. It was home to Mary Magdalene — she was Mary of Magdala. And it was located in the small area along the sea of Galilee, where the bible said Jesus lived and ministered and performed most of his miracles. Recently, archaeologists working in the area made an amazing discovery: an ancient synagogue, one of only seven ever found that date to the time of Jesus.”

Politico: “Prominent Democratic activists and women’s groups are determined to ensure the party fields a powerful female presidential candidate in 2016, drawing encouragement from a 2012 cycle that saw Democrats win female voters by a lopsided, 11-point margin and elect several new women to the Senate. For the network of women who helped reelect President Barack Obama to a second term — and put Democrats such as Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, Massachusetts’s Elizabeth Warren, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp and Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono in the Senate — 2016 looms large as an opportunity to shatter the centuries-old lock men have held on the White House.”

From Y-Net: “A cache of 1,000-year-old documents written by the Jewish community in Afghanistan and unveiled in Jerusalem on Thursday sheds unprecedented light on the mediaeval Jewish community in central Asia. “This is the first time we have a large collection of documents representing the culture of the Jews who lived there” at the beginning of the 11th century, said academic director of the National Library of Israel, Professor Haggai Ben-Shammai. The collection was discovered by chance in a cave inhabited by foxes some two years ago in northern Afghanistan, once at the outer reaches of the Persian empire. In recent years, the same caves have served as hideouts for Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. The Afghan “Geniza,” the Hebrew term for ritual Jewish disposal of documents with religious significance which cannot be thrown out but must be buried, contains hundreds of papers currently held by collectors and dealers around the world.”

Does highlighting help?

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