- Quite a few people have offered some thoughts on Memorial Day, most reflecting some level of ambiguity about how Christians should respond to a holiday like this in light of the truths of the Gospel. You can read Brian’s thoughts here and some others here and here.
- InternetMonk has a very interesting post on “Church as ‘Strong Family’,” raising questions about whether the “strong group” ethos that we see in the Bible is cultural, biblical, or some combination of the two.
- Nick has posted the papers for the 2010 Trinity Blogging Summit.
- JesusCreed links to a video of Brian McLaren talking about how pluralism can lead to a new kind of Christianity.
- And, speaking of videos, here’s a YouTube video about Wrestling for Jesus. And we wonder why people think evangelicals are weird.
- And, don’t forget that today is “Quit Facebook Day” for those who still harbor illusions about our ability to protect our privacy in an internet age.
Now that we have a new header for our blog, I anticipate that people will occasionally ask what it means. Indeed, Andy already asked in a recent comment for the back story on the goat. (Nick directed him to the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, which is the story that gives the background of the image.) So, I was thinking that it might be interesting to come up with a deeper meaning in our image than just whether the goat gets across without the troll eating him.
We already know that the bridge signifies our ongoing effort to bridge scientia and sapientia. (You can read more about what that means here.) At the moment, the troll simply comes from my strong conviction that bridges should always have trolls under them (and trolls are cool).
So, I’m looking for suggestions on what you think the picture means. You can offer an interpretation of the whole image, or just some specific detail in the picture. Either way is fine with me. We’ll see what suggestions we get and, in memory of Origen, try to come up with a good theological allegory for our new header.
Grant, Almighty God, that as you not only invite us continually by the voice of your gospel to seek you, but also offer to us your Son as our mediator, through whom an access to you is open, that we may find you a propitious Father; O grant, that relying on your kind invitation, we may through life exercise ourselves in prayer, and as so many evils disturb us on all sides and so many wants distress and oppress us, may we be led more earnestly to call on you, and in the meanwhile never be wearied in this exercise of prayer; until having been heard by you throughout life, we may at length be gathered to your eternal kingdom where we shall enjoy that salvation which you have promised to us, and of which also you daily testify to us by your gospel, and be forever united to your only-begotten Son of whom we are now members; that we may be partakers of all the blessings which he has obtained for us by his death. Amen.
- Here’s a very impressive website providing a scrollable and zoomable display of the Sistine Chapel. Definitely worth checking out. (HT First Thoughts). On a similar note, Richard Beck has an unusual post about whether Michelangelo was sneaking neuroanatomical images into his Sistine Chapel paintings.
- Thanks to Kent Eilers for pointing out a particularly scathing remark that Oliver O’Donovan made when reviewing John Milbank’s The Future of Love. It’s the kind of comment every author fears. But, I also think it’s an unfortunately apt description of Milbank’s writing in general.
- Peter Leithart has some short critical comments on John Levinson’s Filled with the Spirit, as well as a number of good questions.
- Here’s a review of Jimmy Dunn‘s newest, Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?: The New Testament Evidence. (HT Exploring Our Matrix)
- Contrary to much contemporary rhetoric, Tony Jones offers some reasons for thinking that “God is Not on the Side of the Poor.” (HT JesusCreed)
- Here’s the transcript of a speech that Rowan Williams gave on “The Fellowship of the Baptized.” (HT Inhabitatio Dei)
- Time magazine offers its list of “The 50 Worst Inventions,” ranging from “the zany to the dangerous to the just plain dumb.” Unsurprising entries include New Coke, subprime mortgages, and spam email; more surprising are Crocs and Foursquare. And, though I’ve never played, I completely agree about Farmville.
- And, if you’re wondering what’s holding up production on The Hobbit, you can read about it here.
- Kent Eilers has begun a new series of reviews on books about theological hermeneutics. The first review is on Todd Billings’ The Word of God for the People of God.
- Tim Challies lists his 10 favorite biographies.
- Jason Goroncy points out some interesting theological posts from the last week.
- Pew Research has a short quiz you can take to find out how much you’re like (or not like) the Millennial generation (I got a 40).
- Scot McKnight continues to comment on the results from the Baylor Survey of Religion, focusing today on a number of stats confirming the long-held notion that women are significantly more religious than men.
In arguing for a doctrine of resurrection in the OT, I find that I must disagree with other previous scholars. I found this great page which describes in detail the different logical fallacies. I have been trying to use the proper terminology to be precise in how I disagree with someone’s argument, and am trying not to commit the same errors myself!
- Joe Carter has an interesting post on “Why Evangelicals Love the Jews,” arguing that, at the popular level at least, it has less to do with eschatology than with evangelicalism’s biblicism and general ignorance of history.
- Peter Leithart offers a good summary of Kereszty’s argument that the late middle ages saw a general degeneration of the Eucharist, which the Reformation did much to restore.
- The New York Times has a good piece on the meetings that are taking place between the two most significant leaders in the Orthodox Churches, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. There is hope that these meetings will alleviate some of the tensions that have developed between these two branches of the orthodox church in modern times.
- Over at the Internet Monk, they’ve begun a “new” series rehashing some of their overall criticisms of evangelicalism. If you’re looking for a refresher course in what people mean when they say they’re fed up with contemporary evangelicalism, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
- The Christian Science Monitor has a good article covering the ongoing violence between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria. I haven’t heard much about this recently, and I thought it would be good to highlight so we don’t forget what’s happening over there.
- In a news flash, apparently head banging is bad for your health.
- And, sadly, the Onion reports that the Dread Secretary of Evil Hammond S. Reynolds, head of the U.S. Department of Evil, has issued a statement demanding that all residents of the U.S. must die…as soon as they get the necessary budgetary approvals.
Peter Leithart posted a good quote from Austin Farrer that I thought was worth reposting here. Commenting on C.S. Lewis’ apologetics Farrer said:
“though argument does not create conviction, the lack of it destroyed belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish.”
Ok, I think this blog has existed long enough under a generic WordPress header. It’s a very nice picture of some random bridge somewhere, but unless there is a troll lurking underneath (trolls always have to lurk, it’s very important) it isn’t going to cut it anymore.
So, I’m looking for suggestions. Does anyone have a good idea for what our new header should be? With this particular theme, it needs to be an image that is either 760 x 190 pixels or can be cropped to that size. Suggestions can include images that you already have or ones that you think you or someone else could create/find reasonably easily.