All I can say about this video is that I hope some of these people are carrying lots of insurance and know some good therapists…especially for the children.
I had a few more random links that I didn’t include in this morning’s Flotsam and Jetsam post. And, I didn’t want to leave you with insufficient resources for wasting time on Friday. So, here you go.
- This is how you wash your lion in public.
- Here’s a slideshow comparing the main characters from Mad Men and their 90210 counterparts. The parallels are rather eerie.
- Here’s a list of 30 awesome college lab classes. I need to find a way of including some of these labs in my theology classes. HT
- It sounds like they’re finally gaining some traction for turning Neil Gaiman’s Sandman into a TV show.
- Peter Leithart explains why we should read and read broadly.
- And, check out the Socrates Argument Clinic if you want to match wits with Socrates himself. HT
I took this video during my Th.M. seminar last spring, and it clearly shows our Th.M. students excitedly gathering to learn more amazing theological truths from their esteemed program director. I’ve tried to tell them that they really don’t need to squeak like that all the time, but we were discussing the Greek Fathers, so I can understand why they’d have a hard time constraining themselves.
- Apparently iMonk has been getting some pushback for their recent posts on the New Calvinism (anyone surprised?). So, today Mike offers a few responses “with all due respect.”
- You’ve probably heard by now about Stephen Hawking’s declaration that God didn’t create the universe (for good comments see here, here, here, and here). If you want to read more about the book in which Hawking makes this argument, The Grand Design, here is the Washington Post review.
- James Smith explains why you need to pick a specific discipline for your graduate studies.
- Collin Hansen has some great thoughts on the difficulties of pastoral succession.
- Scot McKnight summarizes Allister McGrath’s four ways in which theologians actually have some value for the church. I’m really hoping that there’s more than four, but it’s a start.
- Justin Taylor offers some great resources for reading the Church Fathers.
- Peter Leithart has some great comments on the relationship between low sacramentalism and Arianism.
- Christopher Hitchens responds to the idea that God gave him cancer as punishment for his atheism: “The vengeful deity has a sadly depleted arsenal if all he can think of is exactly the cancer that my age and former “lifestyle” would suggest that I got.”
- And, just in case you’re tempted to get something productive done today, Joe Carter offers 30 videos to distract you while you wait for the labor day weekend.
The American Library Associated has published a list of the top 100 banned/challenged books from 2000-2009. Here’s the top 10:
- Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
- Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
- And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
- Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
- Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
- His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
- TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Myracle, Lauren
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Apparently, I need to read controversial books a bit more, since the only ones I’ve read in the top 10 are the Harry Potter books, Of Mice and Men, and the His Dark Materials series.
Some interesting inclusions from the rest of the list:
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn comes in at #14. Still? After all these years, there’s still controversy. That by itself is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Go Twain.
- My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier hit #27. What’s the deal with this one? This was one of my favorite books as a kid. I don’t know how many times I read it, and I don’t remember anything particularly controversial. Maybe I just wasn’t sheltered enough as a child.
- I have the same question with the Bridge To Terabithia at 28. Is this really controversy worthy?
- #35 on the other hand is one that I haven’t read, but the title alone probably explains the controversy: Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison.
- The fact that The Kite Runner comes in at #50 is just a shame. Sure there’s a pretty tough scene in the book, but can’t we get past that and appreciate the power of the story?
- The Junie B. Jones books (#71)? Really? Did we run out of things to complain about?
- And, of course, there’s the normal list of great literature that touched on difficult themes and therefore should be kept from our children: The Color Purple (17), Catcher in the Rye (19), To Kill a Mockingbird (21), Brave New World (36), Fahrenheit 451 (69), and The Handmaid’s Tale (88).
I could keep going. There’s some great literature on this list. (It also looks like there’s some real garbage, but I can’t comment on books I haven’t read). Since I obviously haven’t read everything on the list, I’d be curious to know what books you think are on here that kids really should be reading.
For those who will be taking Marc’s philosophy class I thought I’d mention that you can watch a long list of videos from Academic Earth that seemingly deal with some of what we will be covering in classes and in our reading. The philosopher is Shelly Kagan of Yale. You can find the lectures here.
I’ve been out of town for a while, so I haven’t posted many links in the last couple of days. Here are some of the more interesting ones, just in case you missed them.
- Phillip Clayton discusses “Big Tent Christianity” (aka emerging church).
- Sheffield Biblical Studies has started a new blog. (HT)
- William Black discusses the Trinity in evangelical and Orthodox thought.
- The most recent 9Marks ejournal focuses on Hell: Remembering the Awful Reality.
- Brian offered a nice roundup of links on the controversy between Al Mohler and BioLogos.
- Michael Patton deals with the professional weaker Christian.
- Nick explains (again) why he thinks perichoresis has nothing to do with dancing.
- James McGrath offers a nice set of links dealing with online scholarship.
- And, here’s a reading list for new science fictions readers.
Sage Publishing is offering “Free Online Access to all SAGE Journals until October 15, 2010.” The free registration will give you access to journals across a broad range of disciplines, but here are the journals in Bible and Theology I thought you might be most interested in. Six weeks of free access (think downloading pdf files) is hard to pass up.
- Biblical Theology Bulletin
- Currents in Biblical Research
- The Expository Times
- Irish Theological Quarterly
- Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
- Journal for the Study of the New Testament
- Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
- Journal of Pentecostal Studies
In a recent NYT article, “Does Your Language Shape How You Think?” Gary Deutscher addresses the question of whether our native language affects the way that we think about the world. The article begins with a very nice discussion of Whorf’s (not the Klingon) original theory that a person’s native language constricts their ability to think in certain ways. You may have encountered this, for example, in the popular notion that Hopi Indians cannot think in terms of past/present/future because their language has no tense – i.e., it is an entirely aspectual language. Deutscher points out that this theory “crash-landed on hard facts and solid common sense, when it transpired that there had never actually been any evidence to support his fantastic claims.” As he points out, there is a pretty basic fallacy in this theory: “The general structure of his arguments was to claim that if a language has no word for a certain concept, then its speakers would not be able to understand this concept.” But, we simply don’t work this way. We are perfectly capable of understanding a wide range of concepts for which we have no specific word or grammatical structure in our native langauge.
But, the fact that Whorf’s original theory had some serious flaws does not mean that our native language might not still exercise some influence on the way that we think about the world. So, Deutscher draws on the work of Roman Jakobson to contend, “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.” In other words, our native language does not prevent us from thinking about any given concept, but it may cause us to focus on and highlight particular things in ways that can affect how we view the world. He specifically focuses on how the gender and spatial aspects of a native language can nuance a person’s thinking in important ways. Again, this does not mean that our native languages comprise uncrossable boundaries, necessarily preventing us from understanding foreign concepts. But it does highlight the ways in which we use language to conceptualize and construct the world around us.
I’d encourage you to read the whole article if you’d like a nuanced take on how the way that you’ve learned to speak can impact the ways in which you understand the world around you. Language does not create reality, but it does shape it in important ways.