My apologies to anyone who was anxiously awaiting yesterday’s Flotsam and Jetsam post. Apparently my site was hacked and my web host shut the site down for a bit. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like they did any damage to the site, and everything appears to be running smoothly once again. Thanks for your patience.
- Pascal’s Wager 2.0: The wager requires a choice between believing and not believing. But there are two ways of not believing. I can either deny that God exists or doubt that God exists. Discussions of the wager usually follow Pascal and lump these two together in the single option of not believing in God. They don’t distinguish denying from doubting because both are ways of not believing. The argument then is about whether believing is a better option than not believing. My formulation of the argument will focus instead on the choice between denying and doubting God. (New York Times)
- Don’t Panic: Why Technophobes Have Been Getting It Wrong Since Gutenberg: Although our apprehension about new tech seems to grow increasingly dire, fear has gone hand-in-hand with technological advancements throughout history. (Collector’s Weekly)
- Could the Next Billy Graham Be Drunk Right Now? The hope for the future is not that Christianity will be seen as more respectable or more influential in the sectors of American power. The hope for the future is churches filled with people who never thought they fit the image of “Christian.” (Russell Moore)
- 6 facts about teen romance in the digital age: Developing relationships, especially the romantic kind, are a fundamental part of growing up. Social media and mobile technology now permeate the lives of many teens, including their romantic relationships. A new Pew Research Center survey of 13- t0 17-year-olds examines how teens flirt, date and even break up in the digital age. (Pew Research)
- 17 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in October. International Moment of Frustration Scream Day sounds great!
Just for Fun
- Not all Doctrines Are at the Same Level: How to Make Some Distinctions and Determine a Doctrine’s Importance: The ability to discern the relative importance of theological beliefs is vital for effective Christian life and ministry. Both the purity and unity of the church are at stake in this matter. The relative importance of theological issues can fall within four categories. (Gospel Coalition)
- Russell Wilson, Ciara, and Who Else Is Not Having Sex: the public face of abstinence is changing. It’s no longer just teens from super-Christian homes or the ones we fear will ditch their promise rings any day now. (Hermeneutics)
- Why We Need the New Battle for the Bible: When it comes to deciding how to follow Jesus Christ in our time, the Bible often takes a backseat even for evangelicals, who have long held a high view of Scripture. (Christianity Today)
- James Is, You Know, in the Bible: I can think of few messages more urgently needed by our worldly churches today than the necessity of pursuing practical holiness through obedience and good works. (Reformation21)
Just for Fun
Today I’m launching a new feature on the blog called “Saturday Is for Scholars.” Every Saturday (or most of them, at least) we’ll feature something of interest to those of us who live largely in the academic realm. Some will be funny, some will offer resources, and hopefully at least a few will be interesting. We’ll see how it goes.
To get things started on the right note, here’s a great series of comics on the use of references/footnotes in academic writing. If you don’t follow PhD comics regularly, you really should.
- Liberation theology, once reviled by church, now embraced by pope: Is Pope Francis some kind of communist? Is he anti-American? Why is he so down on the wealth-creating engine that is global capitalism? The answer to all those questions is to be found in an understanding of his relationship to liberation theology, a movement that blossomed in Latin America in the 1960s and ’70s, when the man who was to become Pope Francis was being formed. (Aljazeera)
- The Black Church: A Necessary Refuge: I learned at age five that many US churches are unsafe for black people. (Christianity Today)
- How TV Can Make Kids Better Readers: Is technology the best thing that ever happened to education? Or a silent killer of children’s attention spans and love of learning? (NPR)
- Did the Early Church Teach ‘Faith Alone’? In the writings of the earliest Christians we do not find many references to justification…but the evidence we do have supports the notion that most early church fathers understood justification forensically.” (Zondervan)
Just for Fun
- 22 Outlawed Baby Names From Around the World. Sex Fruit? Really?