E-reader comparison: Kindle 3, Sony, Kobo, and Nook

I’ve been trying to decide if I should finally break down and buy an e-reader. So, I’ve been keeping my eye out for good reviews/comparisons. Yesterday, Switched posted a very helpful roundup on four bestselling e-book readers: Amazon’s Kindle 3, Barnes and Nobles’ Nook, Borders’ Kobo, and Sony’s PRS-900BC Reader Daily Edition. Their favorite was the Kindle 3 by a long shot. They really tried to come up with good things to say about all of them, but in the end it really wasn’t all that close. HT

“Through a Glass Darkly” by Traci Brimhall

You counted days by their cold silences.
…………At night, wolves and men with bleeding hands

colonized your dreams. The last time I visited,
…………you said you trapped a dead woman in your room

who told you to starve yourself to make room for God,
…………so I let them give your body enough electricity

to calm it. Don’t be afraid. The future is not disguised
…………as sleep. It is a tango. It is a waterfall between

two countries, the river that tried to drown you.
…………It is a city where men speak a language

you can fake if you must. It’s the hands of children
…………thieving your empty pockets. It’s bicycles

with bells ringing through the streets at midnight.
…………Come up from the basement. It’s not over.

Before the sun rises, moonlight on the trees.
…………Before they tear the asylum down, joy.

(You can see the original post and listen to the author read her poem here.)

Kevin Vanhoozer on “Redramatizing Theology”

Kevin Vanhoozer gave three talks at Covenant Seminary last spring, and they’ve just posted the audio files on their website. (HT)

This is a nice addition to the two lectures that Vanhoozer gave at Southeastern Seminary last fall on “Doing Faith: Seeking (and Showing) Understanding in Company with Christ.” (HT Justin Taylor)

PART ONE – The Theater of the gospel: the stage, the script, and the director

http://vimeo.com/7542727

Prologue: The pastor-theologian as minister of understanding

I. The stage

II. The Christian control story: theodrama

  1. The Christian theodrama is eucatastrophic
  2. The Christian theodrama involves divine entrances and exoduses
  3. The Christian theodrama is Trinitarian

III. The script

  1. The nature of Scripture: Spirited discourse
  2. The function of Scripture: cultivating canon sense
  3. The authority of Scripture: cultivating catholic sensibility

IV. Doctrine as direction

  1. Knowing God is itself dramatic.
  2. Understanding the theodrama: fitting participation

V. The director and the dramaturg

  1. The dramaturg
  2. The director
  3. Church as company of players

PART TWO – Gospel Theater: Rehearsing, Improvising, Performing

http://vimeo.com/7559499

I. Role-playing: from Stanisklavski to sanctification

  1. Doctrine and identity
  2. The ‘System’
  3. The disciple’s vocation: being real

II. Discipleship as improvisation

  1. Spontaneity
  2. Accepting and blocking ‘offers’
  3. Narrative skills
  4. Reincorporation

III. “Doing” church: the theater of the gospel

  1. Performing the Scriptures: the costumed interpreter
  2. Performing the doctrine of atonement
  3. A plea for amateur theology: acting in parables

Outstanding video of the day – Stars Ewok Gospel

James McGrath made my day by posting this video today. If you need to get your Tuesday off to a good start, watch this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdd0edT-BeE&feature=player_embedded#!

Flotsam and jetam (8/31)

Top 10 technologies we lost

I think it’s important to be reminded on occasion that we’re not as cool as we think we are. Even in our era of unrivaled technological accomplishments, it’s good to remember that those who went before us were pretty smart too. So, check out this list of 10 technologies that we have lost – i.e. things that can can’t make anymore for one reason or another. It’s an impressive list of accomplishments, including two wonder drugs and arguably the first “analog computer.”

HT

Driscoll and Harris probe Francis Chan on his new “calling”

In this interesting interview, Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris probe Francis Chan on his decision to leave his church because he thinks God has called him into a different kind of ministry. I’d be curious to get your reactions to the discussion that ensues. What do you think about the concerns that Driscoll and Harris raise, and what to you think about Chan’s responses?

http://www.vimeo.com/14452343

HT

Flotsam and jetsam (8/30)

  • Glenn Beck’s rally has garnered lots of attention (see especially here). Probably my favorite so far is from a Slate.com article describing it as “the overall effect was large, vague, moist, and undirected: the Waterworld of white self-pity.”
  • iMonk has started on the three stream in the new evangelical coalition: the New Calvinism.
  • Paul Helm discusses the criticism that a pre-temporal covenant of redemption between the three persons of the Trinity opens to door to an implicit tritheism. Instead, he contends that the ideas of perichoresis and coinherence protect from tritheism, even while maintaining sufficient distinction between the persons to allow room for covenantal relations.
  • Carl Trueman reflects on the value of ministering in smaller churches.
  • William Black discusses the Scripture/authority article in most evangelical statements of faith and how they relate to the Orthodox understanding of Scripture and Tradition.
  • And, if you’re feeling the need to reorient your Monday, try this. Go to Google, type in “elgooG,” and hit “I’m Feeling Lucky.” That should get things turned around.
the overall effect was large, vague, moist, and undirected: the Waterworld of white self-pitthe overall effect was large, vague, moist, and undirected: the Waterworld of white self-pityy

YouTube videos of iconic historical events

Just when you started the think that YouTube was only good for showing off cute animals and supporting the doctrine of total depravity, Mashable comes along and puts together a list of 10 Incredibly Inspirational Moments on You Tube. (This, by the way, is a horrible title. I almost didn’t click on the link because I thought it was going to be a bunch of sappy inspirational stories. Instead, it’s a list of truly iconic moments in history captured on video. The only ones that don’t seem as historically significant are the Stephen Hawking and Roger Bannister videos.)

My favorite on this list has to be the video of the Tiananmen Square demonstration in 1989. But, here are all the video clips included in the list.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-nXT8lSnPQ&feature=player_embedded

Eccentric Existence 12 (the Spirit)

[We're continuing our series on David Kelsey's Eccentric Existence: A Theological Anthropology.]

With chapter 12, Kelsey is ready to move on the second part of his 3-part approach to theological anthropology. As we discussed a while back, Kelsey takes an intentionally Trinitarian approach to theological anthropology: “It is the Father who creates through the Son in the power of the Spirit; it is the Spirit, sent by the Father with the Son, who draws creatures to eschatological consummation; it is the Son, sent by the Father in the power of the Spirit, who reconciles creatures” (122). Having completed his reflections on God relating to create as Father, he is now ready to move into his discussion of God relating to draw his creatures to eschatological consummation as Spirit.

And, since Kelsey sees each of these three perspectives as different narratives with their own narrative logic, each also serves as a legitimate starting point for a theological anthropology. They are all “equi-primordial” (449). In other words, for Kelsey, you basically have to start the anthropological enterprise over again every time you move from one narrative to another. Having recounted the basic shape of a theological anthropology told from the perspective of creation, Kelsey now wants to narrate a theological anthropology from the perspective of eschatology. Thus, “part 2 promotes an analogous set of anthropological proposals that are held accountable to canonical Christian Holy Scripture’s narrative of God relating to all that is not God to draw it to eschatological consummation.” And, for Kelsey, this means that particular attention must be paid to the role of the Holy Spirit in theological anthropology.

Kelsey argues that a primary function of the Spirit in the NT is to draw humans to eschatological consummation and that this “is an aspect of creatures’ most embracing and most necessary context” (443). As part of humanity’s ultimate context, human persons simply cannot be understood adequately apart form an understanding of the Spirit in his relation to human beings and their destiny. This in itself is notable in Kelsey’s theological anthropology.  Many anthropological projects make no effort to reflect on the importance of pneumatology for anthropology. And, Kelsey does more than any other recent theological anthropology that I am aware of to probe what this might actually mean for the shape and content of a truly Christian theological anthropology. Thus, although Kelsey was clear at the very beginning that theological anthropology must be christocentric, it is also quite evident that he thinks this christocentric shape requires a strongly pneumatological emphasis as well. (Indeed, Kelsey’s work serves as a great example of the fact that a truly christocentric theology will always also be both trinitarian and pneumatological. Done well, there is no real tension between these.)

As we’ve noted several times in our discussion of this book, Kelsey is fond of complexity. At least, he’s very comfortable with it, and he feels no need to reduce the complexity by offering systematic ways of organizing complex data. And, this is no exception. So, surveying the NT data, Kelsey concludes that there is no simple way of categorizing the diverse ways in which the Spirit relates to human beings.

New Testament texts, both by the structure of their narratives and by the metaphors they employ, characterize the Spirit’s way of relating to human persons in a wide and not entirely consistent variety of ways. However, a certain bipolar pattern is consistent. The Spirit is regularly characterized both as persons’ environing context always already there and enveloping them, and as intimately interior to them. (444)

This bipolar pattern will guide much of Kesley’s reflections. He reflects on the many ways in which the Spirit serves as one who is always-already shaping our proximate contexts while at the same time shaping us as human persons in the most intimate ways. Thus, unlike other anthropologians who take the time to reflect on the significance of pneumatology for anthropology, Kelsey does not do so by reflecting exclusively on how the Spirit affects the “inner” person. Indeed, Kelsey rejects any such simple dichotomy between inner and outer.

Unsurprisingly, Kelsey argues throughout that this pneumatological approach requires us to see both the “already” and the “not yet” of human being. Although the Spirit is already with us as both proximate and ultimate context, the fact that the Spirit is the one drawing us toward eschatological consummation means that there must always be some element of futurity in the Spirit’s relation to us.

Finally, the fact that the Spirit comes as both gift and promise means that we can rule out any idea that the human person alone has the responsibility to bring about the eschatological consummation through his or her own efforts.

The adventus character of eschatological blessing rules out use of metaphors of human creaturely action to build or co-create the eschatological kingdom of God. It also rules out use of metaphors of a cosmic physical or spiritual evolution into the eschatological kingdom. (453)

We certainly have a role to play in our own development, but the gift-character of the Spirit and the already/not yet nature of eschatological consummation means that we must anticipate the future as gift and promise. Grace is not an addendum to nature, but has been there from the very beginning.