Flotsam and jetsam (4/1)

HT Oliver Crisp via Facebook
HT Oliver Crisp via Facebook

Good Reads

  • Timeless Wisdom for Seminary Graduates: Theological seminaries, no doubt, afford important facilities to humble and diligent students in making their preparations for the gospel ministry; but it is very possible for a person to enjoy all external advantages with very small improvement. More depends on the student’s character and disposition than on all other things.
  • When the Church Lost Its Voice: A friend of mine, a church-planting pastor, when he and his core group planted their church, told me one of their aims was that the community would come to respect them enough that whenever major community decisions were made they’d want to know what the church thought. Their aim, then, was to become a faithful witness that formed the core of the community’s conscience.
  • Do You Really Want to Live Forever?: Imagine you are offered a trustworthy opportunity for immortality in which your mind (perhaps also your body) will persist eternally….Would you take it? Metaphysician and former British diplomat Stephen Cave thinks accepting such an offer would be a bad idea.
  • Scholarship as a Way of Life: The scholarly life is its own reward: it is a good life–it is the sort of reflective pursuit that has been valorized by the ancients.  It is also the sort of life that is increasingly difficult to sustain in a sound-bite culture of perpetual distraction.  In the age of the Kardashians and iPhone Twitter feeds, finding joy in the slow-food of scholarly reflection is a counter-cultural pursuit.

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This Week’s Book Giveaway: Journeys of Faith

journeys of faith

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a book giveaway, so here you go. This time we’re giving away one copy of Journeys of Faith: Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Anglicanism (Zondervan, 2012). With contributions from an impressively diverse group (Gregg Allison, Francis J. Beckwith, Chris A. Castaldo, Craig A. Blaising, Wilbur Ellsworth, Lyle W. Dorsett, Brad S. Gregory, Robert A. Peterson), this looks like a great read. So, if you’re interested, scroll down to see how to enter.

Here’s the information from the publisher:

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Flotsam and jetsam (5/30)


Good Reads

  • Welcome to the Multiverse: The latest developments in cosmology point toward the possibility that our universe is merely one of billions.
  • My Solution to the Same-Sex Marriage Debate, with an Ecclesiology of Exile: We are subversive ideological terrorists because we order our lives according the story, symbols, and sovereignty of Jesus Christ, all of which stands in violent opposition to the values of the secular order. We Christians represent a clear and present danger to the very edifice of secular pluralism because we refuse to believe in it and we tell a story that undermines it – and some people believe us not the powers that be, that’s the problem.
  • In Which I Ask Ann Voskamp’s Forgiveness: Tim Challies offers a powerful reminder of why we need to be careful with how we say things online. I was particularly struck by this line: “Would I have said that to someone I had planned to share a meal with a few weeks later? Probably not. Why, then, would I say it at all?”
  • Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Woefully and Tragically Fallen: counselors should acknowledge that sometimes life is not easily reduced to choosing. If we treat people only as volitional beings, we fail to relate to them based on the full theological narrative of the imago Dei and the fall from grace. We must consider matters related to nurture and nature when addressing complex issues of life in this world.

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Everything Is Not as It Seems: Jonathan Edwards’ View of the Universe


Is. Such a simple little word. You’d think that it couldn’t possibly cause any problems. And then Bill Clinton comes along and questions the meaning of is. And people laugh. But only because they haven’t stopped to realize that they don’t really know what it means.

What is is?

The question makes a little more sense when you realize that is is just a form of to be. So the question of is is really a question of being. What does it mean for something to be, to exist?

Philosophers and theologians have wrestled over the nature of existence for millennia. In recent discussions, the answers tend to gravitate around two poles:

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A Prayer for Pentecost Sunday (Augustine of Hippo)

Vector dove

Holy Spirit, powerful Consoler,
sacred Bond of the Father and the Son,
Hope of the afflicted,
descend into my heart
and establish in it your loving dominion.
Enkindle in my tepid soul the fire of your Love
so that I may be wholly subject to you.

We believe that when you dwell in us,
you also prepare a dwelling for the Father and the Son.
Deign, therefore, to come to me,

Consoler of abandoned souls, and Protector of the needy.
Help the afflicted, strengthen the weak, and support the wavering.
Come and purify me.
Let no evil desire take possession of me.
You love the humble and resist the proud.
Come to me, glory of the living, and hope of the dying.
Lead me by your grace that I may always be pleasing to you.