May 12 2009

Deconstructing the Deconstructor

Category: church,religion,theology,Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:44 am

Bart Ehrman’s “Jesus Interrupted” is another in the line of books attempting to challenge orthodox understandings of the nature of the Bible and the validity of faith, more or less on the line of the Jesus Seminar approach.

Ben Witherington has a multipart blog/essay essentially taking on Ehrman on his own ground, in his own terms.  It seems to this layman to be excellent reading, and so I link to it below.

Bart Interrupted: Part One

Bart Interrupted: Part Two

Bart Interrupted: Part Three

Bart Interrupted: Part Four

Bart Interrupted: Part Five

Bart Interrupted: Part Six

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Apr 24 2009

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Category: religion,theologyharmonicminer @ 9:15 am

A Smattering of Greek is Worse than None at All

A man who has only a smattering of Greek, if he uses it, is pretty sure to make himself ridiculous. He thinks he has discovered something when in reality he has only been misled by his partial knowledge. I have heard man after man of real ability along other lines make an egregious fool of himself when with his very limited knowledge of Greek, he has attempted to give original translations of the Scriptures.

Speaking from experience, I’ve known quite a few young Greek or Hebrew students who now seem to believe that their understanding of scripture and doctrine has simply leaped beyond all reasonable bounds, as they presume to correct some very carefully considered understandings, by the greatest scholars of all time, that have stood the test of centuries.

All of this from a mere two or three years of Greek or Hebrew.

More worth reading at the link above… then scroll to the bottom of the page and note when it was written, and how much it sounds like something you just heard about last week.

Emerging what?

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Apr 16 2009

Hard questions about embryonic stem cell research

Category: abortion,science,theologyharmonicminer @ 9:48 am

12 tough questions from Doug Kmiec, with excellent answers from Robert George.

This is a follow up to an excellent interchange between the two that is covered here.

Some of this is definitely college level reading, and requires you to think about the questions and the answers.  But it is rewarding, and thoroughly worthy of your time and attention.

The short story:  the hard questions do have answers.  This material is what you need to read to know what you’re talking about in the embryonic stem cell debate.

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Apr 03 2009

Jesus the anti-poverty activist?

Category: theology,Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:46 am

It has become quite popular in many quarters of the Christian Left, from the “emerging conversation” to the old-fashioned New England liberalism of the mainstream denominations, to assert that the message of the Gospel isn’t primarily about personal salvation, saving faith, holy living, and the like, but instead is mostly about “the immanent kingdom,” the kingdom of God that is with us now, expressed primarily as concern for the poor, and (all too often) support for socialist-inspired approaches to “taking care of the poor.”  The Gospel is portrayed (betrayed?) by these well-meaning folks as a reflection of the battle of the rich and the poor, with the poor being preferred by God, and the rich had just better watch out, or they might wind up going to the Hell that the Christian Left doesn’t really believe exists.

There are a few problems with this:

1)  For most of human history, almost everyone has been poor.  There really haven’t BEEN very many “rich” people in any society until pretty recently.  Are we to believe that the exhortations of Jesus and the Apostles to seek God and live holy lives were mostly aimed at the tiny minority of rich folk down through time?  This interpretation of scripture makes it mostly about the rich/poor dichotomy, and lets the poor mostly off the hook because their problems are the rich folks’ fault.  Did Jesus come just to condemn the rich if they didn’t shape up and pay up?  Or was His life, death and resurrection about a bit more than wealth redistribution?

2)  The “rich” in Jesus’ time were mostly not merely wealthy, but disposed of considerable political power, with the ability to directly control the lives of many people.  There was one law for the rich, another for the poor, and that wasn’t just the de facto status of being able to hire better “attorneys,” but was literally the state of the law.  A rich man could murder a poor man, and perhaps only pay a fine, while a poor man who murdered a rich man would be executed.  Shoot, people were sometimes executed just for theft…  or less.

3)  People in prison were mostly political prisoners, not mere felons.  Felons were likely to be executed, not imprisoned, which cost too much.  So visiting people in prison didn’t mean just visiting rightfully imprisoned criminals, it meant visiting people unjustly imprisoned for primarily political reasons.  And note that visiting the prisoner was probably itself a risk, since it meant identifying publicly with someone who had piqued the rulers’ ire.  Think Nelson Mandela, not Baby Face Nelson.

4)  Jesus and the Apostles simply talked way too much about personal living decisions, moral behavior, and living out of love to divert the center of the Gospel into “social justice.”  The poor are as responsible for showing love to the rich, and each other, as the rich are to everyone else as well.  The poor are not given license to demand anything from the rich, any more than the reverse.  Remember, the “rich” meant the politically powerful, not just people with an upper-class lifestyle.  The President of the United States does not have the legal power to do to any US citizen what “the rich young ruler” could probably have done to those in his sway.  When Jesus said, “To be perfect, sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and follow Me,” what He probably meant was mostly, “Give up your direct physical power over others and follow Me.”  That was the reality in that time and place…  indeed, in most times and places in human history.

Having said all that, the “rich” do have a responsibility to do two things:

1)  Give what they can and feel led by God to give, wisely placed to do the most good, consistent with meeting their responsibilities to others, which includes their families, the people who work for them, their customers (i.e., the people who benefit from their being economically productive), etc.

2)  Support public policies that will have the effect of improving the condition of the poor.  But this has to be done wisely, too.  Mere handouts mediated by the government have proven NOT to lift people out of poverty, as a group.  Successful economies do, though, by providing opportunities that no government program can sustain over the long term.  No program of government aid has ever done as much as a vibrant, free economy to lift people’s condition.

Oddly, and to the contravention of the common leftist meme, many capitalists love big government programs, as long as they can get the contracts to service them.  One of the biggest temptations of the rich is to use that power to push government programs that sound “caring” on the surface, and will result in the government sending money their way to carry out some aspect of the program.  That’s why Washington DC is awash in lobbyists: precisely the rich, jockeying for a spot on the rail.  If Washington DC wasn’t the fountain of government programs to “help the poor”, there’d be a lot fewer wealthy people and corporations there dipping into the river of money.

The big medical providers have positively loved Medicare, even as they whine about its restrictions.  The drug companies love the new prescription drug benefit that Bush added for Medicare recipients.  Ditto the crocodile tears.  Price supports and agriculture subsidies to rich farmers are another prime exhibit.  All of these were sold “to protect the little guy” and yet the primary beneficiary is people who already had lots of money, enough to hire lobbyists, while the rest of us pay higher prices (the poor pay those higher prices, too) and higher taxes because of those programs.

So: a big temptation of the rich is to use government programs (ostensibly to “help the poor”) to line their own pockets.  But it’s hard to turn down free money, isn’t it?

The notion that the Gospel is primarily about “the kingdom on earth now,” particularly viewed throught the lense of class warfare, is simply not scriptural or historically grounded in either the facts on the ground at the time Jesus and the Apostles lived, or in events since.  To wit:

1)  If Jesus had been primarily concerned about the economic condition of the poor and downtrodden, don’t you suppose He could have done just a little behind the scenes tweaking to the climate, the growing season, etc.?  Couldn’t He have managed to cause the unscheduled diversion of several Roman galleys due to weather and unexplained large waves and winds, so that the poor and downtrodden of Palestine could have kept the fruit of their labor from the evil Roman overlords?  Couldn’t he have arranged for Herod to fall down the palace steps and break his neck?

2)  All the welfare, relief and charity in ALL of human history (and I mean right up to the present) have not liberated as many people from poverty as free markets, free trade, and the division of labor.  It’s a fact.  You may not like it.  Deal with it.  If Jesus’ primary concern is for Christians to do what will have the most beneficial effect on the economic status of the poorest, then all Christians should be voting against statism (which always and everywhere adds to total poverty, and acts as a leech on the economy) and for more or less libertarian economic policy (which floats all boats).   This is, of course, the exact opposite of the tendencies of “rich/poor class warfare” Christians, who seem always to vote for the state to victimize the poor by making them poorer.  I’d like to believe it’s out of ignorance, but I’m not so sure.

3)  Jesus simply never said He had come to impoverish the rich and enrich the poor, economically speaking.  It is prooftexting of the highest order to twist His words into that interpretation, when His entire ministry and actions are taken in context.  He died on the cross and rose again, but he didn’t write a self-help book, nor did he prescribe socialism as the ideal state.  He did have a very great deal to say about the moral meaning of personal choices, made freely (both by rich and poor), and absolutely nothing to say in favor of the state forcing people to give to the poor at the point of a gun, which is the very thing most of the Christian Left votes for, feeling oh so spiritual and moral as they do it.

Oh, wait:  I forgot, there is one scriptural reference detailing Jesus’ teaching that it’s good for the government to take money from people who earn it and give it to other people.  It’s covered here, in a post from before the election.


Mar 03 2009

Job Security for Philosophers: Theists must stay in the closet

Category: higher education,philosophy,theologyharmonicminer @ 10:19 am

At the link, a very interesting description of a debate between a theist philosopher and an atheist philosopher, which sounds very interesting in its own terms, and this revealing confession.

I was at the talk. It was packed with professional philosophers and graduate students in philosophy, most of whom sided with Dennett. I wrote live comments on the debate/session. I prefer to remain anonymous for various reasons, in particular because I am inclined towards Plantinga’s position over Dennett’s and were this to become well-known it could damage or destroy my career in analytic philosophy. This is something I prefer not to put my family through. I almost didn’t publish these comments at all, but as far as I could tell, this would be the only public record of the discussion.

Friends, if you can identify me, I request that you keep my identity secret. I am sharing my thoughts as a service to the philosophical community and all those who have an interest in such debates. But I prefer not to suffer at the hands of my ardently secular colleagues. This is not to say that all secular analytic philosophers are this way; they most certainly are not. But enough of them are that I cannot risk being known publicly.

But wait! I thought the Left was all about tolerance. And DIVERSITY!

SURE it is.

Here’s the link to the exchange between Plantinga and Dennett.

Disclaimer:  while I’m obviously a theist, I don’t find so called “theistic evolution” to be a particularly convincing perspective, nor the attempts to rename it but not change the underlying concept.

But the “live blog” of the Plantinga/Dennett debate is very interesting.

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Feb 22 2009

The Next Great Awakening, part 5: God the Egotist?

Category: theologyharmonicminer @ 10:17 am

The previous post in this series is here.

There’s an old saying that, “It’s only a brag if you can’t do it.” That is, if you claim something for yourself, or about yourself, that is not yours, or is not true, then it’s “a brag”, or a manifestation of arrogance, or power-hunger, or even megalomania.    Al Mohler has a nice article on the question of The Divine Egotist — Is God Arrogant, Selfish, or Megalomaniacal?

When a human glorifies himself, he robs others of joy. Self-aggrandizement and human megalomania cause hurt and harm to others, not blessing and joy.

But when God displays and exhibits his glory, he shares joy with his creatures and wholeness with all creation. Put most directly, without the knowledge of God’s glory, we would be robbed of true joy. God would be less than perfect — even selfish — if he did not display his glory and allow us to share in the divine joy and fulfillment.

Is God a megalomaniac . . . the transcendent Egotist? Of course not. In the truest sense, this is an arrogant and irresponsible question. How can God be other than he is in his perfection? But in another sense, the question is helpful, for it directs our thinking to the essence of God’s glory and resets our theological framework. God shows his love for us in the display of his glory and in his jealous concern for his own name and reputation. Our greatest joy is found in beholding his glory and in glorifying the triune God for all eternity.

This is all true, of course.

But I’d like to rephrase it in another way, for those people, like me, who took way too long to understand just what it meant. I’d like to rephrase it without emotionally loaded or “churchy” language.

It’s really very simple.

The Ultimate Reality is God, the Creator of everything that is, other than Himself.   There is no fact or conceptual framework that is “truer” than God Himself, because the very meaning of “true” is that a “true” thing is “real,” or “the way things really are,” and there is no reality more basic than God, who underlies, supports and holds together everything in Himself.

So when God says, “I want you to give ME all ‘the glory'”, He is inviting us to participate in the realest of the real, the truest of the true, the highest of the high, namely, Himself.     In inviting us to recognize Him for what He is, to seek Him, to know Him, he is giving us the greatest gift he could possibly give to His Creatures (us), a connection to the Ultimately Real, which is not a thing, or a concept, or a principle, but a Person.

A very weak analogy might be that of a composer explaining a piece of music to performers who will play and/or sing it.   The explanation might include some of the “meaning” of the composition to the composer, the nature of the musical structures, the types of expression that are appropriate in its performance, the ways the composition reflects the musical personality of the composer, etc.   Now imagine that a human composer could create a piece of music that so perfectly reflected the composer’s own nature that the only way to really perform the piece correctly is to get to know the composer as well as possible, understanding the “meaning” of the notes on the page in the context of that relationship to the composer.   Imagine that the composer, out of sure and certain self-knowledge, knew himself to be the “composer of composers”, the one whose musical personality and musical output were perfectly intertwined and harmonized.   When the composer asks the performers to “do it my way” and to “get to know me as the composer” so that they will better perform the music, and indeed, so they will better understand the very nature OF music, is it an expression of ego, or is it a gracious invitation to participate in the deepest possible musical experience?

Scientists sometimes say things that indicate they nearly worship Nature, or Mathematics, in the sense that, to the scientists, these things are the ultimate reality of things.   While Nature is beautiful, the Universe is awe-inspiring, and Mathematics is intricately woven through it all (and just why is that again?), these things are just manifestations of the creative power and intelligence of the Person behind it all, who invites us to know Him, to go on the journey of life in seeking Him as He reveals Himself to the extent we are able to receive, somewhat differently for each of us.   It is odd that some people can express rhapsodic awe at the amazing intricacy and scale of the Creation, even appreciating the apparent intelligence and intention behind it all (inventing phrases like “the anthropic principle“), but still deny the Creator.

God is not a manlike being with supreme power, intelligence and goodness.   God is in a category by Himself, with no other referent, and no adequate analogy.   He is the “I AM.”   To some extent, being made in His Image means that it sometimes is helpful for humans to analogize themselves to God for the purpose of self-understanding.   We are intelligent because He is Intelligence, we want to be “good” because He is Goodness, we desire relationship with each other and Him because He is Relationship within the Trinity.   But it is almost never helpful, or true, to analogize God to humans, because He is utterly Other, yet calls us to be in relationship with Him, out of His great love and desire for his creatures to know Him, a desire and love so great that He became one of us to show us the way back to Him.

Forget the silly anthropomorphisms that are expressed in the phrases of skeptics, like “Divine Child Abuse,” “God is a megalomaniac,” and so on.   All such flow from the first error, analogizing God to humanity, the utterly wrong direction for the analogy to work.   Very simply, God is prior to everything else, and every other consideration.

Giving him the “glory” is not giving in to an egomaniac, it is the necessary prerequisite for a rational understanding of who and what God IS in relation to us, and the essential first step to relationship with Him.   The child must know and acknowledge its Parent, who cared for the child before it knew it had a Parent.   “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Praising God is the only intelligent thing for a creature to do, and a fine thing it is to be one of God’s creatures.   Indeed, the only thing.

The next post in this series is here.


Feb 18 2009

The Next Great Awakening: part 4

Category: religion,science,theologyharmonicminer @ 10:04 am

The previous post in this series is here.

Scientists have been promising for some time now that we’re likely to find intelligent, technological species all over the universe, starting in our galaxy.

Maybe, maybe not.

There’s the Fermi Paradox, which essentially boils down to the question, if the universe has so many intelligent life-forms, why don’t we hear from them, or see any evidence OF them?

If interstellar travel is possible, even the “slow” kind nearly within the reach of Earth technology, then it would only take from 5 million to 50 million years to colonize the galaxy. This is a relatively small amount of time on a geological scale, let alone a cosmological one. Since there are many stars older than the sun, or since intelligent life might have evolved earlier elsewhere, the question then becomes why the galaxy has not been colonized already.

Consider:  how long will it take for the human race to create self-replicating space probes that are able to “live off the land” so to speak, using local materials to create copies of themselves, and move on to the next star system and do it again?   How long to create interstellar space flight systems of some kind?  Think big.  100 years?  1000 years?  10,000 years?  If ANY species in the galaxy ever reached this point (it would only take ONE, in all the history of the galaxy), and if that point was reached even 50 million years ago (a mere eyeblink in a galaxy perhaps 10-12 billion years old, or more), then we should see evidence of it, assuming these space probes have multiplied as designed, and probably overlapped various star systems many times over by now.  The first time we began broadcasting, we should have been noticed, assuming that an intelligence that wanted to send such probes was interested in other intelligent beings, and had at least one probe in the Solar System already (of course, the first thing they would have seen from TV broadcasts may have convinced them we were all idiots….).

So:  unless every other gregarious, curious race died before it could create such technology, or unless we are the first in the history of the galaxy (neither of which is consistent with the notion that the human race is “ordinary”), we may very well be alone.

Then there’s the Rare Earth perspective, essentially itself an extension of the anthropic principle, or more properly, a list of evidence in favor of the anthropic principle.  Essentially, it’s all about the fine-tuning of the universe, our galaxy, our solar system, and our planet, for human life, particularly intelligent, technological human life.

Anthropic reasoning typically concludes that the stability of structures essential for life, from atomic nuclei to the whole universe, depends on delicate balances between different fundamental forces. These balances are believed to occur only in a tiny fraction of possible universes so that this universe appears fine-tuned for life. Anthropic reasoning attempts to explain and quantify this fine tuning.

Related to this is the Privileged Planet hypothesis, the notion that the Earth is uniquely placed in our galaxy, and our galaxy uniquely placed in its local cluster and that local cluster in its super-cluster to allow the universe to be carefully observed and understood, with almost any other place being too bright (too many stars too close) or too dark (too many obscuring gas clouds).

All of that provides some context for this report claiming that the Milky Way Galaxy has ‘billions of Earths’

There could be one hundred billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy, a US conference has heard.

Dr Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Science said many of these worlds could be inhabited by simple lifeforms.

He was speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.

So far, telescopes have been able to detect just over 300 planets outside our Solar System. (update: the original form of this article was created in 2009, and as of 2023, many thousands of extra-solar planets have been detected)

Very few of these would be capable of supporting life, however. Most are gas giants like our Jupiter, and many orbit so close to their parent stars that any microbes would have to survive roasting temperatures.

But, based on the limited numbers of planets found so far, Dr Boss has estimated that each Sun-like star has on average one “Earth-like” planet.

This simple calculation means there would be huge numbers capable of supporting life.

“Not only are they probably habitable but they probably are also going to be inhabited,” Dr Boss told BBC News. “But I think that most likely the nearby ‘Earths’ are going to be inhabited with things which are perhaps more common to what Earth was like three or four billion years ago.” That means bacterial lifeforms.

Outside of the obvious fact that this was just a wild guess by a scientist (since Earth-size rocky planets in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star appear to be rare to very, very rare), why do you suppose that a scientist incautious enough to make the claim is so cautious about the likely development of advanced life (meaning anything more than bacteria)?  The answer is pretty simple.

Scientists really don’t have a fuzzy clue how life on Earth began so fast (in an eye-blink in geological time) just after it was cooling off from the Late Heavy Bombardment.  Forget all the nonsense you’ve heard and read about “billions and billions of years in the primordial soup” allowing life to spontaneously generate.  First, there was no primordial soup.  Second, life appears to have begun within just a very few million years of the time Earth cooled enough to allow it to survive.  This is not something scientists talk about much to the public, but it’s a hot topic at conventions, workshops, etc.  For a more complete presentation on the huge problem presented to science by the origin of life, see Signature In The Cell, by Stephen C. Meyer.

The current theory judged most likely by many exo-biologists is that the Earth was seeded with life from some other planet.  No kidding, some of the most brilliant and prominent believe exactly this.

So Alan Boss is loathe to suggest many intelligent species elsewhere (he surely knows all about the Fermi Paradox), but he’s willing to take a swing at the notion that whatever seeded life on Earth may have done so elsewhere, though of course it isn’t going to be something he talks about a lot.  Sounds too much like science fiction, don’t you know?  Or some wild notion that God goes around the universe seeding life…  can’t have that, either.

Also omitted from Boss’ theory is that the Earth has been a reasonably safe place for the development of advanced life because it is between two spiral arms of our galaxy, not IN one of them, which would surely have been deadly for advanced life due to radiation, super-nova proximity, etc., not to mention being a lousy place from which to observe the galaxy or the universe….  ever try looking at the stars from downtown Las Vegas?  The vast majority of Boss’ “earthlike” planets would be in star systems hostile to advanced life, either due to the type of star they orbited, or the location of that star system in the galaxy.

Much of this is nicely presented in Why the Universe is the way it is, by Hugh Ross.  You may or may not agree with all his conclusions, but I think you’ll find it a very provocative read.  A recent book by Dr. Ross (as of 2022) is Designed To The Core, in which he explains the probable great rarity of conditions congenial to life in the universe, which relates nicely to be the Rare Earth and Privileged Planet concepts mentioned above.

So, why is all this in “The Next Great Awakening” series?

Because the more unique we understand ourselves to be in the universe, the more personal a God we might be willing to consider.  Science has been telling us for a few centuries now that we are not unique, not particularly special, that we were essentially inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, that whatever God there may be obviously viewed humans as a minor sidelight in creation (if indeed there IS a “creation”), that there are probably millions of other intelligent species in the universe, and so we don’t really matter that much….  with a corollary that maybe even the EARTH itself is more important than silly little US, the current ruling paradigm of the eco-pagans.

A representative sentiment:

The non-scientist’s relation to modern science is basically craven: we look to its discoveries and technology to save us from disease, to give us a faster ride and a softer life, and at the same time we shrink from what it has to tell us of our perilous and insignificant place in the cosmos. Not that threats to our safety and significance were absent from the pre-scientific world, or that arguments against a God-bestowed human grandeur were lacking before Darwin. But our century’s revelations of unthinkable largeness and unimaginable smallness, of abysmal stretches of geological time when we were nothing, of supernumerary galaxies and indeterminate subatomic behavior, of a kind of mad mathematical violence at the heart of matter have scorched us deeper than we know.

But much has changed since 1985 when Updike wrote the above.  Starting with the Big Bang theory decades earlier, continuing with the failure of biology to account for how life can possibly have begun (despite early optimism in the 1950s), and reinforced by the bewildering amount of fine-tuning required in the universe, our solar system, and Earth, in order for us to exist at all, let alone in a place where we can survive long enough as a civilization to develop high technology, and then for that place to be one of the few places where life might exist that also allows direct observation of the rest of the universe, we have seen science in the last 70-100 years begin to point, gradually, to the very special place humans have in Creation.  In fact, many hints of the foregoing were there in 1985, but perhaps Updike didn’t know it, because scientists weren’t talking about it in the lay media.

I believe that the incredible fine tuning of the universe is a story that needs to be told constantly by Christians, not in fear of what science may reveal, but in celebration that maybe, just maybe, science is about to “come home”, to point to basic facts of the relationship of humans to Creation that the church has taught for millennia.

Even if we someday learn of other intelligent civilizations, it is already obvious that they will be very rare.   And if they exist at all, I strongly suspect they will have their own revelation, one that is bound to have many parallels to our own, since it will have come from the same Source.   Of course, there is also the chance that they represent so thoroughly fallen a society that maybe we should have kept our mouths shut.  Go and reread the Screwtape Letters sometime.

Just to stimulate your thinking in this direction, there’s a very interesting science fiction book, Calculating God, which proceeds from the assumption that the aliens who visit us are theists.   The book takes many liberties, of course…  but it’s an intriguing idea that the aliens may show up on Earth as missionaries.

In the meantime, exactly how long will it take mainstream science to consider Creation itself as a scientific theory?  Let’s stake out some territory here…  if no alien races have been found in, say, 100 years, can we say they aren’t there?  Or 1000 years?  It’s not looking so good for SETI these days…..  unless you’re buying all the UFO reports coming out as evidence.  I’m keeping my powder dry.

The next post in this series will be here.

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Jan 21 2009

The Scandal of New Evangelicalism?

Category: politics,theologyharmonicminer @ 10:48 am

The New Evangelical Scandal, Civitate

Even though the sociology has not yet caught up, the narrative of a new breed of evangelicalism has taken hold among the media and political elites. The narrative is doubtlessly popular in part due to wishful thinking by Democrats and their media-savvy friends; yet as a young evangelical myself, it is impossible to discount entirely. Even if the outline of our theology is broadly the same as our parents, as it is for an increasing number of conservative evangelicals, our ethos is different. And the differences are not strictly political—the political trends among young evangelicals that have received so much attention are grounded in different concerns and emphases that undergird younger evangelicals’ approach to culture and spirituality as well. This new ethos is largely a reaction to the abuses, failures, and excesses of our parents’ generation and contains significant clues as to the future of evangelicalism in America.

It’s a long article, but worth the read, by a 26 yr old evangelical who’s been thinking deeply about it all. You aren’t likely to agree with all of it, but it will stimulate your thinking, at least.

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Nov 23 2008


Category: philosophy,theologyharmonicminer @ 6:35 pm

I’ve been rereading things I didn’t understand as well as I should have, the first time around.  And, I’ve been reading things I hadn’t read before, but should have.

One of those is “Orthodoxy“, by G.K. Chesterton.

Here is a recent appreciation of Chesterton.

I’ll be posting more on this in the “Next Great Awakening” series. 

But I’m still reading.

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Nov 21 2008

Dolphin air bubble rings: amazing

Category: science,theologyharmonicminer @ 4:12 pm

If you haven’t seen this, you’ll be amazed, and moved, I think. And according to Snopes, this is true, not a special effect or something.  Our Father is indeed the Artist.

Dolphins Blow Bubble Air Rings

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