Weekly Meanderings

Weekly Meanderings June 9, 2012

We are back! And I want to register here my gratitude to RJS, Patrick Mitchell and the good folks at Irish Bible Institute as well as to Syler Thomas for pinch-hitting for us while we were gone. When we travel for international events the blog usually dips in page views, but this time it went up! Thanks again.

Lillian Kwon: “Hundreds of Southern Baptists have signed a statement that rejects Calvinist views on the doctrine of salvation and outlines the “traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”  The statement – which denies that God predestined certain people for salvation and others for condemnation, among other beliefs – has stirred wide debate within the Southern Baptist Convention with some affirming it fully and others arguing that it is causing an unnecessary division. “Why are we headed down the broken road of schism over Calvinism today?” asked Josh Buice, pastor of Pray’s Mill Baptist Church in Douglasville, Ga. “Have we forgotten our history as Southern Baptists where we had Calvinists such as Lottie Moon, James P. Boyce, John L. Dagg, A.T. Robertson, John A. Broadus, and many others who served in our convention along with those who were less Calvinistic (Reformed) in their doctrine? They didn’t fight over it, throw mud, and pull out the heresy sword to use on one another.” TGC has a sketch by Joe Carter that responds in part to this issue.

From Christine Scheller, a good post about hospitality: “In 2009, after having two children the old-fashioned way, Toby and Murphy Meisenheimer, of Naperville, Illinois, were considering adoption when someone at their church mentioned Safe Families for Children, an organization that supports families in crisis by providing temporary shelter to children.“Initially when we got that call from Safe Families, I was extremely hesitant, because to me, it just kind of sounded like being trapped in church nursery,” said Murphy. She thought the temporary nature of the placements would mean she would have “no ownership in a child’s life.” A Safe Families representative listened to her concerns and advised her to follow the organization’s tweets to see how the Lord would lead.”

Good morning to you!

Robert Crosby on the “new Romans Road”. “The “Roman roads” of today are the Internet, the smartphone and social media. The famed Roman Roads of the Ancient Empire were among the foremost technological advances that helped Christianity spread so rapidly. Their construction was strategically well-timed to the Incarnation of Christ and the subsequent missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. The building of these continent-connecting arteries started in 500 B.C. and ultimately spanned over 250,000 miles. They not only enabled the Roman Empire to grow, but also propelled the Gospel forward. The new roads are having a similar effect.”

The divinity of Christ — early evidence — in John 5, by Derek Leman.

Rachel Held Evans on women of note in the Bible: “The reason I want to highlight the “who’s who” among biblical woman leaders today is this: Later, we will be discussing 1 Timothy 2:11-15, the passage in which Paul forbids Ephesian women from teaching in church. Unfortunately, when it comes to womanhood, many Christians tend to read the rest of scripture through the lens of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 rather than the other way around. By highlighting the many female leaders and teachers in scripture, I’m hoping to set the stage so that we see 1 Timothy 2 for what it is—an anomaly. It’s hard to argue that Paul’s statements there are meant to be universally applied when so many women from scripture are honored by God and praised by their community for teaching and exercising leadership.”

Did you see this? Good story of a father.

Meanderings in the News

Sleeping together promotes health, by Andrea Peterson: “”Sleep is a critically important health behavior that we know is associated with heart disease and psychiatric well-being,” says Wendy M. Troxel, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. “It happens to be this health behavior that we do in couples,” she says. In one of Dr. Troxel’s studies, published in 2009, women in long-term stable relationships fell asleep more quickly and woke up less during the night than single women or women who lost or gained a partner during the six to eight years of the study. While the science is in the early stages, one hypothesis suggests that by promoting feelings of safety and security, shared sleep in healthy relationships may lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Sharing a bed may also reduce cytokines, involved in inflammation, and boost oxytocin, the so-called love hormone that is known to ease anxiety and is produced in the same part of the brain responsible for the sleep-wake cycle. So even though sharing a bed may make people move more, “the psychological benefits we get having closeness at night trump the objective costs of sleeping with a partner,” Dr. Troxel says.”

A good example of not covering the news well, by Stephen D. Foster, Jr.. And the mainline and African American churches aren’t guilty of the same?

America’s brainiest cities:

John Garvey: “In two other recent cases, the National Labor Relations Board’s regional directors have held that Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y., and St. Xavier University in Chicago are not Catholic schools for purposes of exemption from the National Labor Relations Act, which regulates collective bargaining. The cases stressed that the colleges do not require students to attend Mass and do not engage in “indoctrination” or “proselytizing.” Rather, they observe norms of academic freedom. They also hire non-Catholic faculty, and their boards of trustees are dominated by lay people. Notice the similarity to HHS’s view of what counts as Catholic. A “real” Catholic college would be inward-looking. It would inculcate religious values and censor contrary views. It would hire Catholics and not other people. Its board would be dominated by clergy. It would admit Catholic students but not others. There is a pattern to these cases. The government has been eager to regulate the behavior of churches in ways more to its liking. It does this by defining religion down, so that only the most rigid and separatist groups are exempt. The rest are, for constitutional purposes, no different from the Jaycees or the Elks Club. We might say that the wall of separation is intact, but the government has made it so small that it encloses nothing more than a flower bed. How distressed Roger Williams would have been.”

This is worth reading.

The B-school problem (warning for language): “The problem of the ‘male adolescent culture’ at business schools is widespread,” says one prominent business school professor who preferred not to be quoted directly on the issue. “And how that ‘excludes’ groups — females, married students, and even some foreign students who don’t fit in — is also an issue. This is simply the Wall Street culture, which really hasn’t changed much since the bad old days, imported to business school.”

Our ethnic foods.

David Stipp: “There’s no denying it—our kind started substituting brains for brawn long ago, and it shows: We can’t begin to compete with animals when it comes to the raw ingredients of athletic prowess. Yet being the absurdly self-enthralled species we are, we crowd into arenas and stadiums to marvel at our pathetic physical abilities as if they were something special. But there is one exception to our general paltriness: We’re the right honorable kings and queens of the planet when it comes to long-distance running.”

Good on this school: “(CNN) — The Michigan High School Athletic Association on Thursday approved a waiver provision that gives a student athlete with Down syndrome a chance to continue participating in sports despite being 19 years old. Under the new provision, Eric Dompierre, who will be a senior in the fall, could be approved to play as early as August if the Ishpeming School District formally seeks a waiver for him, said John Johnson, spokesman for the athletic association. “I just want to say thank you for everybody to support me through all of this,” the rising senior told CNN affiliate WLUC, a smile spread across his face.”

First doctor to President Lincoln: “SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The first doctor to reach President Abraham Lincoln after he was shot in a Washington theater rushed to his ceremonial box and found him paralyzed, comatose and leaning against his wife. Dr. Charles Leale ordered brandy and water to be brought immediately. … Thinking Lincoln had been stabbed, Leale pushed his way to the victim but found a different injury. “I commenced to examine his head (as no wound near the shoulder was found) and soon passed my fingers over a large firm clot of blood situated about one inch below the superior curved line of the occipital bone,” Leale reported. “The coagula I easily removed and passed the little finger of my left hand through the perfectly smooth opening made by the ball.”

Not a Nanny State, but close, but not really: “WASHINGTON (AP) – First lady Michelle Obama says banning big servings of sugary drinks isn’t anything she’d want to do at the federal level, but she offered some kind words Tuesday for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to do just that. She later issued a statement backing away from taking a stand on New York’s controversial proposed ban. It was a telling example of the fine line the first lady walks as she tries to improve Americans’ health and eating habits without provoking complaints that she’s part of any “nanny state” telling people how to eat or raise their children.” [I’m for freedom; I’m for health; I’m for education; but maybe put more pressure on the businesses that sell these monster sugar drinks.]

A what? “A fire last month aboard a U.S. nuclear submarine that caused more than $400 million in damage may have been caused by a vacuum cleaner, the Navy said Wednesday. “Preliminary findings indicate the fire started in a vacuum cleaner used to clean work sites at end of shift, and stored in an unoccupied space,” the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Congressional and Public Affairs Office said in a news release. “Specific details as to the cause and subsequent damage assessment are still being evaluated as part of ongoing investigations and will be released at a later date.”

Meanderings in Sports

Story of David Clyde.

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  • cas

    Thanks so much for the link love Scot! Glad to be meandering with you again.

  • CGC

    Hi Scot,
    Welcome home . . . Michael Bird on his blog tries to portray this as the victimized minority of strong Calvinists Baptists are getting picked on and possibly pushed out in the future. I for one am incredulous at this since what I have witnessed living by Sourthern Baptist Seminary in Louisville for years is just the exact opposite!

    I know the role of women is a hot button issue on this list and the irony is I have been a card carrying member of CBE in the past. But I am dismayed how some of this discussion goes viral and how some of the Scriptures are approached on this topic. I for one do not think it is a good hermeneutical move to silence various scriptures or trump one scripture with another one. So not only do I disagree with Rachel Evans who says 1 Timothy 2 is an anomaly but I also disagree with complementarians and hierarchalists who want to dismiss Galatians 3 the same way!

    Anyhow, great to have you back Scot 🙂

  • Joe Canner

    CGC, Rachel Held Evans has a lot more to say about 1 Timothy 2 than the quote that Scot reproduced. See here: http://rachelheldevans.com/mutuality-let-women-speak. Her approach is not to dismiss or silence it but to view it in light of other Scriptures and not give it undue weight.

  • CGC

    Thanks for this Joe,
    Rachel has done some good serious scholarship on this in the past. I’m glad to read some of the larger context here. I will say I don’t have a problem with saying there are anomolies in the 1 Timothy 2 text in the sense that we have several words that only appear there and no where else in Scripture!

  • scotmcknight

    CGC, the problem with some complementarian readings of 1 Tim 2 is that they render the active ministry of women in Paul’s own circle (prophets in 1 Cor, Priscilla, Junia, Phoebe) null and void. Whatever 1 Tim 2 means, it cannot mean — part from Paul contradicting himself — that women cannot teach/preach/prophesy at all. But that is precisely how it has been rendered too often.

  • CGC

    Hi Scot,
    First off, I believe a woman can preach, teach, prophesy, be a missionary or whatever God calls them to be or do. But I wonder if the problem with the Ephesian women is they are trying to grab authority and power in 1 Tim.2? (which in this specific case, is women but canonically, it would be wrong for any man or woman to do this). Is it also possible there is a connection between possible male leaders/Elders of these house churches in 1 Tim.3 with what is going on in 1 Tim.2?

  • Glad “meanderings” is back, my Saturday mornings are just not the same without it. Thanks for the link to the Safe Family story. My wife is currently working with Safe Families in our area, trying to get things established in local churches. I believe organizations like Safe Families, as well as the traditional foster system provides one of the greatest opportunities for the church in the United States today. Our family just completed our first year of fostering and what an incredible ride and learning experience it has been. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago sharing a few things we have learned: http://missionalchurchnetwork.com/what-weve-learned-about-foster-care-after-one-year/

  • CGC

    PS – The complementarian interpretation of a woman can not authoratatively teach over a man is to take a disjunction in the text and turn it into a conjunction! If the text actually says a woman can not teach and she can not have authority over a man, then what is the situational problem for Paul to say this rather than the complementarian move of interpreting this text not only to restrict women but then have to interpret all the other positive texts within Scripture where women are teaching, leading, and using their spiritual gifts. So I guess the real issue is what direction do people go in making consistency flow from this text?

  • CGC

    PSS – I quess I should have said “interpreting this text to restrict *all* women . . . ” Somehow we go from a text dealing with a situational problem in the church (Paul is dealing with various problems in the church all the time it seems) to where this becomes a universal restriction for all women at all times (rather than certain trouble-makers in the church).

    A sad part of church history is the Agape love feast is totally done away with because of problems at the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians. Paul is dealing with abuses and the later church responds by totally doing away with it 🙁

  • Patrick

    I don’t see how any human can intelligibly believe God by His act is virtue Love and believe this hyper Calvinist doctrine( which Calvin did not espouse). It’s the most contradictory set of ideas I know of.

    Some form of universalism makes more sense to me even if that is not an accurate doctrine.

    BTW, AT Robertson may have been a hyper Calvinist, he was also an outstanding exegete.

  • Pat Pope

    I HATE getting RickRoll’d! Grrrr……

  • DRT

    John Garvey’s article on long distance running is intriguing. But, they miss and opportunity to state a funny and blunt conclusion, here is what he says:

    Elaborating on this idea, Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging, has proposed that our kind evolved superior smarts partly because they helped us record and recall the complex details we encountered when running after food—landmarks, tracking clues, location of water sources, and so on. The fact that endurance exercise is known to stimulate neuronal growth in the brain’s memory-forming hippocampus suggests he’s right.

    The inference is that we developed smarts so we would not get lost running after food! Now that is natural selection at its finest, those who can remember the way home after running all that distance can reproduce while the less intelligent wander around trying to find home.

  • DRT

    CGC, i believe you went full circle and ended up where Scot was initially. 😉

  • Scott Gay

    DRT… link the less intelligent wandering around trying to find home with the cities where they eventually stopped( in the chart in this week’s meanderings)….

  • Dan

    Quite a fire on that submarine I guess. Pretty amazing really: fires don’t usually burn underwater or in a vacuum. 🙂

  • DRT

    Scott Gay, at the risk of resurrecting my admonishment for making fun of West Virginia……

    I do have to note that our internet connection goes through Charlottesville quite frequently, which is number one……but it is my wife who plays the games on that site and not me…..

  • DRT

    Sorry, been laughing about this all afternoon.

    Where Noonak?
    He chased deer fast!

    Two days later

    Where Noonak?
    Noonak lost.

  • DRT

    Sorry for the gross meander here, but for those of you in my generation, this is just too freaky to comprehend. And by PBS no less, this is legit!