- Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus: A long overdue debate breaks out about whether rational atheism is being used as a cover for Islamophobia and US militarism.
- 7 Deadly Myths and 3 Inspired Truths About Book Editing: There’s never been a text written that didn’t need editing. By the time you’ve spent weeks, months, or years on a project, you can’t see the words any more. You can see the ideas — the concepts, arguments, plot, and characters — but not every word that’s on the page, or that isn’t, or where there are gaping holes in logic or jumps in style. An editor will. It’s what they’re paid to do.
- 9 Great Things Many Group Members Hate about Small Groups: Many group members have a love hate relationship with the group they’re in. In most instances this has nothing to do with the leader of the group or the makeup of the group. It has everything to do with those expectations that are necessary for a group to be a transformational entity in the group member’s life.
- The Atheist’s Dilemma: I don’t know when I first became a skeptic. It must have been around age 4, when my mother found me arguing with another child at a birthday party.
- What Does Your Writing Implement Say About You? In an age dominated by tech gadgets such as cellphones, a pen can still make a potent statement.
I am in the market for theology doctoral students to supervise. As I announced a few weeks back, we’re moving to Wheaton this summer. And one of the things that excites me about this new position is the opportunity to work with doctoral-level theology students. Now I just need to find some!
So I thought I’d put the word out. I’m looking for people interested in starting the doctoral program at Wheaton in Fall 2014. Since you’d need to submit an application this fall, and since Wheaton encourages people to contact prospective supervisors early, now seemed like the right time to let people know that I’m looking for good doctoral students to supervise.
On the off chance that there might be a few people out there who would like to come work with me in an outstanding doctoral program that is fully funded, emphasizes integration across all the biblical-theological disciplines, stays intentionally small so that all students receive excellent supervision, and utilizes a pretty amazing faculty, I thought I’d explain what I’m looking for in prospective students.
- We Aren’t the World: The growing body of cross-cultural research…suggested that the mind’s capacity to mold itself to cultural and environmental settings was far greater than had been assumed. The most interesting thing about cultures may not be in the observable things they do—the rituals, eating preferences, codes of behavior, and the like—but in the way they mold our most fundamental conscious and unconscious thinking and perception.
- What’s In a Name? Church Names and Public Perception: Based on these findings, it appears you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to your church’s name.
- The Psychology of Language: Why Are Some Words More Persuasive Than Others? What’s actually going on in the brain when it processes language? And if words affect the mind in different ways, are some more persuasive than others? Buffer cofounder Leo Widrich dives into what the research has to say about this and more.
- Eight Diagnostic Questions for a Church’s Health: a church consultation is sometimes like a medical physical—we know we need it, but we don’t like being poked and prodded by an outsider. Nevertheless, a good consultation prods with some important questions. Perhaps these questions will help you analyze your own church.
The end is here. We started this journey with sixty-four hopefuls, before narrowing it down to just two: John and Romans. So, in the last round, we voted to see which of these two books would be the last one standing in our Big Bible Bash.
I rather enjoyed watching this tournament unfold, even though many of my personal favorites dropped along the way. Ecclesiastes made a valiant run, even needing a tie-breaker along the way, before falling to Revelation. And 1 Peter never even made it out of the first round. Nonetheless, there were some close races that kept things interesting, and a few books that went further than I expected. (I should have guessed, though, that Revelation would have enough supporters to keep it in the running for a while.)
But we’ve now reached the end. And it’s time to announce the winners.
- At evangelical colleges, a shifting attitude toward gay students: There has been a shift from rightness to fairness….There’s a real sense in which their institutional loyalty and their loyalty to theoretical morals and ethical choices are trumped by their peer relationships.
- The myths of happiness: Three books on how to attain it and what it means.
- The joys and rigours of converting to another religion: The diversity of the city [Toronto] encourages inter-religious marriages and exposure to a variety of faiths, the two most common reasons for taking the plunge. And mass immigration from around the world — including officially secular countries such as China — has also given organized religion a whole new audience to preach to.
- The Child, the Tablet and the Developing Mind: although some people might have opinions, no one has a true scientific understanding of what the future might hold for a generation raised on portable screens.
These were our top five posts for the month of March. I’ve decided to include only one post from The Big Bible Bash tournament. Otherwise, they would have comprised almost the whole list. Instead, we have an infograpic, the tournament announcement, and several posts related to seminary and/or the Th.M. program. All in all, it was an interesting month.
This isn’t really a prayer, but John Chrysostom’s Easter homily is so powerful that I thought it was worth using today. Have a blessed Easter!
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hell when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”
Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Check out these great 60-second introductions to classic intellectual puzzles/questions like Zeno’s Paradox, Schrödinger’s Cat, and Hilbert’s Infinite Hotel.
- Evangelicals Face Growing Tension Between Political And Personal Views Of Gay Marriage: [Tim] Keller clarified that “you can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.” This is the argument that some religious conservatives are already beginning to make, and looks likely to be the position that most evangelicals end up settling on.
- Nicodemus, the mystery man of Holy Week: He came to Jesus at night, sneaking off to meet the man behind the miracles. He was a powerful Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council. He wasn’t supposed to mix with the motley lot that followed Jesus. But Nicodemus had to know: Was the charismatic Galilean for real?
- Big Theology for Little Kids: Thanks to catechism, my young ones can tell you a thing or two about justification, salvation, and repentance.
- You’re Probably More Like Judas Than You Think: We don’t generally spend a lot of time talking about Judas, because he committed an unfathomable act of treachery. However, if we can step back for a second look, we may find a character who makes us squirm because he’s just a bit too familiar. Before Judas betrayed Jesus, he was looking for a Messiah who would let him follow his own plans.