LaVonne’s ten wishes for the health care plan.
Justin Topp brings this discussion into one paragraph: “The public portion of the discussion started in June when Mohler, at the Ligonier Ministries 2010 National Conference (transcript here) spoke on the apparent old age of the earth and labeled evolution as the great destroyer of meaning. It seems that his decision to go public against BioLogos and its fellows is because they had begun to question Biblical inerrancy. This led Karl Giberson to respond on the BioLogos site(other fellows did as well), and then months later, on the Huffington Post. Mohler thenresponded, BioLogos did in turn, and the war was off. Most recently, BioLogos posted a year in summary and look ahead of sorts written by Darrel Falk, which in turn elicited a response from Mohler. Mohler’s last response has set off a relative firestorm first,second, third, and there are likely many others…” Like this one by Rachel.
Comment: I see no reason for BioLogos to fan that flame with Al Mohler. The whole debate is getting us nowhere. Mohler, and while I can appreciate his desire to hold firm to theological beliefs, does not represent the SBC nor does he represent evangelicalism in these matters. Nor does he need to fan this flame.
News alert: Justin Topp adds to the discussion.
Real good story by Mike Mercer.
On building a toaster from scratch, and if you aren’t interested you actually are.
Christine interviews Phil Yancey, and I’ll be doing something about Phil’s new book (What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That Matters) on this blog soon.
If Dawkins came to Sunday School, quick read John Stackhouse. Speaking of apologetics … Can’t say I’m crazy about this site, but it’s worth keeping your eye on it: The Ehrman Project (responses to Bart Ehrman).
If you haven’t seen this by Andy Johnson, it’s a must … print it out and refer to it when you have questions about justification.
Meanderings in the News
2. George Will: “James Q. Wilson, America’s preeminent social scientist, has noted that until relatively recently, “politics was about only a few things; today, it is about nearly everything.” Until the 1930s, or perhaps the 1960s, there was a “legitimacy barrier” to federal government activism: When new policies were proposed, the first debate was about whether the federal government could properly act at all on the subject. Today, there is no barrier to the promiscuous multiplication of programs, because no program is really new. Rather, it is an extension, modification or enlargement of something government is already doing.”
4. David Brooks: “At first, Harold found the talk a little chilling: it seemed that the revolution the scientist was describing was bound to lead to cold, mechanistic conclusions. If everything could be reduced to genes, neural wiring, and brain chemistry, what happened to the major concepts of life—good and evil, sin and virtue, love and commitment? And what about the way Harold made sense of his life as he lived it, the everyday vocabulary of morals, moods, character, aspirations, temptations, values, ideals? The scientist described human beings as creatures driven by deep mechanisms, almost like puppets on strings, not as ensouled human beings capable of running their own lives.” But this:
“Harold concluded that it might be time for a revolution in his own consciousness—time to take the proto-conversations that had been shoved to the periphery of life and put them back in the center. Maybe it was time to use this science to cultivate an entirely different viewpoint.”
5. Maya MacGuineas: “The facts are ugly. The federal debt, which has averaged less than 40% of the total economy, now represents more than 60%. It’s likely to hit 100% in a little over a decade. You want more? Here’s more. Pretty much every impartial analyst has declared the situation unsustainable. And many European countries have already been hit by nervous credit markets worried about their debt levels. Bottom line: If Congress and the president fail to make changes to current policies, the United States will experience some form of a fiscal crisis. Not a pretty picture. And yet policymakers continue to drag their feet.”
6. Scott W. Atlas: “Constitutional questions aside, a whole host of concerns about specific impacts of the PPACA underlie the opposition to it, including the fact that the law fails to control costs as calculated by the government itself. The major objections to Obamacare rest on four of its fundamental features, all of which represent a marked shift of authority and control of health-care decisions to the government: 1) mandating insurance coverage while eliminating insurance options such as high-deductible plans with health savings accounts (HSAs), which people increasingly prefer; 2) shifting millions more into already unsustainable public health-insurance programs; 3) directly or indirectly limiting access to technology by reducing payments for specialty medical care and limiting patient-driven options on available care; and 4) significantly increasing taxes to pay for the plan. While stopping short of the overt single-payer system openly desired by our president and many Democratic congressional leaders, the PPACA inarguably moves dramatically toward many of those same endpoints.”
7. Good-bye Jimmy John’s? “South Florida may have a chance to take a bite out of business from Illinois.The founder of the 1,000-store Jimmy John’s sandwich chain is threatening to move his company’s headquarters from Illinois to Florida.”
Comment: a decade or two of recklessness in Springfield.
9. Clifford May on gun control, and he’s only for minor restrictions (not enough in my view), but he created a firestorm and here’s his final excellent paragraph: “The moral of this story is demoralizing. Despite what Obama called “the challenges of our nation,” too many people remain locked in ideological boxes. Why should so many NRO readers be outraged by an occasional item that does not reinforce their pre-existing opinions? Why should NPR, in part financed by taxpayers from across the political spectrum, allow only left-of-center voices access to what we used to call the public airways? If President Obama is serious about establishing “a more civil and honest public discourse” — and one speech does not demonstrate that beyond a reasonable doubt — he has his work cut out for him.”
10. The Slow Photography Movement: ” But while taking photos has become a way to mark almost any moment, there is often an unnoticed tradeoff. Photography is so easy that the camera threatens to replace the eyeball. Our cameras are so advanced that looking at what you are photographing has become strictly optional. To my surprise, no monument I saw in Israel could compete with the back of the camera. What gets lost is the idea that photography might force you to spend time looking at what is in front of you, noticing what you might otherwise ignore. All this has spawned a rebellion that I consider myself part of: Call it the slow-photography movement.”
Meanderings in Sports
Here’s a very fine post by a sports writer, Craig Calcaterra, who talks about creating civility on a sports blog, and he’s got it right. You have to work at it to keep the sharks away.