Getting a Sense of Sin

I've just finished Francis Spufford's Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense.  He's pretty good at solving yesterday's problem of explaining your faith without getting bogged down forever in background information or just staying bland.  In one section I particularly liked, he talked about the difficulty of explaining Christianity in a language that's littered with Christian ideas that have drifted from their technical meanings. Everyone kn … [Read more...]

Tell All the Truth, but Tell it Slant

Chris Hallquist, one of the contestants in this year’s Ideological Turing Test (entry A in the atheist round, and B in the Christian round) has also written up his strategy chez lui. He explains that, in his faux Christian entry, he tried to capture the tone of a liberal Christian instead of making steelman arguments for that position. That way he would avoid giving himself away by using an atheist epistemology to construct a ‘strong’ Christian position. Instead: Creating this fictitious perso … [Read more...]

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Sorry for the post pause, I've been teaching at an immersion workshop again, so I'll catch up on sleep today and have something to share tomorrow.  But, in the meantime, I want to point you to the blog post I did at work today.CFAR is celebrating Ada Lovelace Day, by having staff share their favorite women in science, math, and technology.  You can read our picks (mine included) chez nous. … [Read more...]

Christian H’s Turing Strategy

Christian H inspired the bonus question in this year's Ideological Turing Test, and took home a prize for Miss Intellectual Congeniality when his honest Christian round entry turned out to be the one that atheist judges were most likely to rate as written by someone interesting enough to have a coffee-argument with.  However, his fellow Christians didn't recognize him as one of our own.  He was the least likely real Christian to be recognized as such, and only 11% of Christian judges rated him as … [Read more...]

6 Quick Takes (10/11/13)

--- 1 --- I'm in a storytelling mood, after yesterday's post on a three book introduction to Christianity.  And I'm eagerly waiting to read Francis Spufford's Unapologetic, when it turns up on my kindle this Tuesday.  In the meantime, I've been checking out one of his other works: The Child That Books Built: A Life in Reading, and I've been having some of those moments described in The History Boys as: The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way … [Read more...]

Christianity in Three Books

Rod Dreher has asked his readers, and the internet at large, what three books they would recommend to provide a basic familiarity with Christian theological ideas to someone with little background on the topic.  Here's the challenge as he laid it out. So, what’s your Religious Literacy 101 Reading List? To restate the rules:No more than three books on the list. List them in order of preference. Keep them restricted to a single religion (i.e., no volumes comparing the various major re … [Read more...]

Replies on Relationships (with Chaplains and others)

My two recent posts on relationships (with loved ones - God included, and with the Yale Chaplain's office) have both gotten responses I'd like to draw to your attention.  First off, JT fired back after I disputed the idea that Mass-goers were having time stolen from them by religion. Here's an excerpt: But that doesn’t respond to what I said. I bolded the important part. [If you’d rather be at home cuddling someone who means the world to you than sitting in a pew, then your religion has stolen a … [Read more...]


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