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Should You Ask a Question?

This flowchart is primarily for those of us attending academic conferences. But most of the principles also apply to asking questions in class as well.

asking a questionHT Carmen Imes


Flotsam and jetsam (11/13)

happy whatever

Good Reads

  • Your Smartphone Has Officially Hijacked Your Life: We are all one-marshmallow OCD narcissists, granted by our devices the magic of comprehensive instant gratification, of self-reinforcing world views, of control over the daily minutia of our fates and fortunes. To not be irrevocably addicted to our smartphones would be senseless. (Slate)

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A New and “Improved” Apostles’ Creed

oops (250x314)A few small slips of the tongue and suddenly the Apostles’ Creed goes from an amazing summary of theological truth to a story about Jesus’ worst day ever.

My daughter is in the process of memorizing the Creed. But her 7-year-old mind is doing some interesting things with the wording of the Creed as she goes. She’s only three lines in, so I’ll have to keep you updated with the rest. But here’s what we have so far.

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, his only forgotten Son, our Lord:

Who was consumed by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary:

In this version of the Creed, Jesus is having a pretty rough go. First his dad forgets him and he has to be that kid whose parents never show up on time. And then, probably while he’s waiting, the Spirit comes along and eats him. Brutal.

I’m not sure that it can get any worse from here. But if it does, I’ll be sure to let you know. And, if you’d like to use it in church sometime, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.  Just update your resume first.

By the way, as a bonus for parents, if you’re going to work through the Apostles’ Creed with your kids, be prepared to explain words like “conceived” and “Virgin.” It really livens up the dinner conversation.

The Difference Between a Decent Class Presentation and a Descent into Purgatory

presentation (300x300)Sometimes a class presentation challenges you with new ideas and inspires you to new heights.

And sometimes a class presentation achieves mild interest, offering something worth chewing on for at least a few minutes.

But sometimes a class presentation makes you want to stab yourself in the leg repeatedly so the pain will remind you that you’re still alive and that you have not in fact been consigned to the special hell God reserves for those he hates enough to punish with eternally bad class presentations.

If you can’t land in the first category, please, for the sake of the children, at least strive for the second.

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The Top 6 Reasons This Infographic Is Just Wrong Enough to Be Convincing


via SMBC


Flotsam and jetsam (11/11)


Good Reads

  • The End of Protestantism: Protestantism is a negative theology; a Protestant is a not-Catholic. Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can. (Peter Leithart)
  • 5 churchy phrases that are scaring off millennials: Here is what I can tell you about millennials: We grew up on easy answers, catchphrases and cliché, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that things are almost always more complicated than that. (On Faith)

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Saturday Morning Fun…Stan Lee vs. Superman

In a fabulous one-minute rant, Stan Lee explains why Superman annoys him.


The Average Length of a Dissertation

A doctoral student at the University of Minnesota crunched the numbers and put together this great little chart showing how long PhD dissertations are in various fields.

Two things. First, Bible and theology dissertations would almost certainly be near the top of the chart if they were included. Second, if student ever hands me a 500-page dissertation, I’m handing it back. And third, this is one of the most impressive examples of productive procrastination I’ve ever seen. The student putting this together openly admitted that this was done almost entirely to avoid working on their dissertation. And it looks like the mission was accomplished. Nicely done.

I am, of course, modeling productive procrastination myself by blogging about productive procrastination when I’m supposed to be working on my book.

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

Read the whole post if you’d like to hear more about how the data was gathered and compiled.

Flotsam and jetsam (11/8)


Good Reads

  • I’ve Grown Cynical of Cynicism: Among many young people, cynicism has become a badge of pride. It suggests we have a certain sophisticated kind of intellect and dry, satirical humor, just like the witty sharp-shooters Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and all those late night guys. (Hermeneutics)
  • Onward Christian Soldiers: Today, there is an extensive, well-financed network of for-profit missions, using shadowy front companies to evangelize in North Korea. Though precise numbers are impossible to pin down, missionary-businesspeople have set up a staggering breadth of enterprises, including tour agencies, bakeries, factories, farms, even schools and orphanages, all in the name of spreading the Good Word. (Slate)

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Flotsam and jetsam (11/6)

creepy dude

Good Reads

  • Does Worship Divide Or Unite? Can people of different religions, or different interpretations of the same religion, pray together? In religious history, that has been a very thorny question. (The Economist)
  • 6 Reasons Not to Abandon Expository Preaching: Puritan theologian William Perkins wrote that preaching “has four great principles: to read the text distinctly, from canonical Scripture; to give it sense and understanding according to the Scripture itself; to collect a few profitable points of doctrine out of its natural sense; and to apply, if you have the gift, the doctrines to the life and manner of men in a simple and plain speech.” (Gospel Coalition)
  • Multisite Evolution: Whatever your opinion of multisite may be, there can be no doubt it is the new normal. (Ed Stetzer)

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