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Missing the mark – over and over again

Now, I’m not an an expert in football/soccer, but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to kick the ball between the uprights. Or, do you score bonus points for hitting the uprights repeatedly?


Complete list of biblioblogs

NT Wrong has updated his Complete List of Biblioblogs. It’s an impressive list of blogs covering each of these areas:

The biblioblogs are categorized as follows:

  1. General Biblical Studies
  2. Theory and Reception
  3. Biblical and Religious Studies
  4. Hebrew Bible / Early Judaism
  5. Early Judaism and ANE
  6. Early Judaism and Judaism
  7. New Testament / Early Christianity
  8. Early Christianity and Greco-Roman Culture
  9. Textual Criticism, Translation, and Linguistics
  10. Technical and Software

In addition, Related Blogs with a different primary focus to biblical studies are categorized as follows:

  1. Christian Spiritual, Theological, Homiletic, Patristics
  2. Judaica
  3. Atheist / Agnostic / Non-Christian
  4. Religious Studies
  5. Modern Languages
  6. Ancient Languages
  7. Commercial Journal and Publisher Blogs
  8. ANE & Mediterranean Archaeology Blogs

So, if you’re looking for some new blogs to follow, this would definitely be the place to start.

My favorite “Best of 2010″ lists

If you’re like me,  you’ve seen way too many “Best of 2010″ lists in the last few weeks. I’ve even posted a few of my own. Some of them are a waste of time (not mine, of course). But, others can be quite interesting. Here’s a list of my favorite “Best of 2010″ lists from the last couple of weeks. Enjoy.

And, if for some reason you still need even more lists, by all means check out the impressive “Best of” lists compiled by Fimoculus and Miscellania.

Flotsam and jetsam (12/31)

There’s a lot of discussion taking place regarding the essence of the Gospel. People are asking questions like “What is the center of the Gospel?” and “Can (or should) the essence of the Gospel be distinguished from its implications?” Some insist the gospel is just the message of Christ’s substitutionary atonement and that anything else is an “entailment” or a “result.” However, the Bible says the essence of the Gospel is bigger than this.

Two Iraqi Christians have been killed in a new wave of apparently coordinated bomb attacks in the capital just two months after militants massacred 46 Christians in a church in the city.

But really it is the duty of readers to read in context, to read charitably – where there are two possible readings, the one that does not entail blatant contradictions two lines later is probably the reading we should adopt… It is unfortunate that in this case it appears many Christians have failed to do so and are so quick to publicly jump to conclusions about one of their brothers.

As a friend of mine once said, “atheism and theism died in the trenches of World War 1.”  Indeed.  If we continue to fear each other, the answers will always elude us and, alas, the past as we know it will disappear to us entirely.

  • You can now lend Kindle books to your friends for up to 14 days. (Has anyone tried this yet?)

T.S. Eliot on the decay and restoration of the Church

And the Church must be forever building, and always decaying,
…..and always being restored.
For every ill deed in the past we suffer the consequence:
For sloth, for avarice, gluttony, neglect of the Word of God,
For pride, for lechery, treachery, for every act of sin.
And of all that was done that was good, you have the inheritance.
For good and ill deeds belong to a man alone, when he stands
…..alone on the other side of death,
But here upon earth you have the reward of the good and ill that
…..was done by those who have gone before you.
And all that is ill you may repair if you walk together in humble
…..repentance, expiating the sins of your fathers;
And all that was good you must fight to keep with hearts as
…..devoted as those of your fathers who fought to gain it.
The Church must be forever building, for it is forever decaying
…..within and attacked from without;
For this is the law of life; and you must remember that while
…..there is time of prosperity
The people will neglect the Temple, and in time of adversity
…..they will decry it.

~T. S. Eliot, “Choruses from ‘The Rock’” (1934)

Our most popular posts of 2010

Thanks everyone for a great  year. It’s been a lot of fun interacting on a wide range of topics. To cap things off, here are our top posts from the past year.

The Top 5 Posts of 2010 by # of Comments:

.The top 5 Posts of 2010 by # of Page Hits:

My Five Faves of 2010 (fiction)

I didn’t realize this until I started looking for my favorite fiction books, but apparently 2010 was a light fiction year for me. I’ve usually got at least one novel going at any given time, but I guess I slacked off this year. Nonetheless, I did read a number of books that I really enjoyed. Again, these are books that I read in 2010 regardless of when they were actually published.

  • Home, Marilynne Robinson
  • Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
  • The Inheritance of Loss, Kieran Desai
  • The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

Guilty Pleasure of the Year: The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins

Flotsam and jetsam (12/30)

What we are faced with here is a basic dilemma regarding the structure of the story about salvation in Jesus.

Calvin did not commit himself to any version of the doctrine of definite atonement. This, at least, is what I think. His thought is consistent with that doctrine, that is, he did not deny it in express terms. But (by other things that he most definitely did hold to) he may be said to be committed to that doctrine.

Tips for the ThM (roundup)

Tips for the ThM – Part 15 (over-research-itis)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of my Tips for the ThM. But, as I’m looking back over the papers from our recent philosophy and theology class, I’m reminded of a problem that I suffered from throughout my graduate programs: over-research-itis. This debilitating illness manifests itself in a tendency to spend almost the entire semester researching, leaving yourself with precious little time in which to actually write the paper that all of the research was supposed to be for.

If you’re not sure whether you suffer from this unfortunate syndrome, just ask yourself whether you tend to be frustrated with your papers because you don’t think they really reflect the quality of research you did for the project. If so, you probably suffer from over-research-itis.

I was finally able to defeat over-research-itis in my doctoral program by realizing two things. First, there is always more research to do. You will never have done “enough” and you’ll probably never be satisfied with what you actually have done. Get over it. Give yourself sufficient time to do good research and just get used to the feeling that you really should check out just one more book/article. Second, all that research isn’t terribly helpful if you don’t leave time to write a good paper. Research is just a bunch of interesting books and messy notes until you take the time to put it all together in a well-crafted, well-argued paper. That’s when you really take ownership of your research and make it available to other people. That’s the payoff. If you’ll remember that the paper is the goal and not just the onerous task waiting at the end of the semester, it may help you not put it off to the bitter end.

Realizing these two things, I decided to set firm deadlines for when I would (mostly) stop doing new research and begin writing my paper. And, the key here is to set that deadline far enough out to leave yourself sufficient time to write a quality paper (i.e. not the week before it’s due). Know that it’s going to take a few weeks to do a good job writing up all of that research and commit to giving yourself the time in which to do it. You’ll get less research done, but you’ll end up with a better paper, and you’ll probably learn even more from the experience.

And, by the way, be careful that you don’t swing the pendulum in the other direction and end up suffering from under-research-itis. I like well-written papers, but the best prose in the world can’t disguise the fact that you haven’t done the work.