Flotsam and jetsam (8/17)

Neither gullibility (pious fiction) nor cynicism (impious fiction). That is the way forward for a healthy appreciation of Christian tradition.

Tragically theological liberalism claims to offer patronage to a group of intellectual who no longer want it. By removing a personal and speaking God from the church, they have nothing to say to people that they can’t already hear from Oprah, John Stewart, CNN, or the NYT.

The kinds of stories we tell ourselves, and maybe especially the kinds of fantasy stories, speak volumes about what we want and what we fear. From Aladdin to the Golden Ass to Faust, in the past we told stories about people who acquire the ability to do magic-and sometimes benefit and sometimes suffer. That could be us. Now we tell ourselves stories about magical people who struggle to deal with their special gifts. Those people are not us, and I do think there’s something sad about a culture that writes itself out of its own fantasies.

Are there hidden messages in your emails? Yes, and in everything you write or say, according to James Pennebaker, chair of the department of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Pennebaker has been a leader in the computer analysis of texts for their psychological content. And in his new book, “The Secret Life of Pronouns,” he argues that how we use words like “I,” “she,” and “who” reveal secrets of our psychology.
  • The blogosphere has been alive with a number of posts on the nature of sanctification. The bone of contention is the relationship of grace to the commandments/imperatives in the Bible. Bill Evans offers a nice summary of the discussion, to which Sean Lucas offered a friendly rejoinder, arguing that it’s really a matter of emphasis. But, Kevin DeYoung disagrees, contending that “insisting” on the imperatives is not just a simple matter of emphasis. And, Bill Evans has now weighed back in with a surrejoinder to Sean Lucas, pointing out the strong areas of agreement, but arguing for closer conformity to Westminster.




    • Marc Cortez says

      I hate it when I miss things. That was a good rejoinder, and I definitely should have linked to it. Thanks for sharing it.

      And, I’m glad you enjoy the links/pictures. Thanks for the links!


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