The first guest post will be posted later on today. Thank you so much to those of you who have expressed your interest in taking part in this and to those of you who have already sent in posts.
The following are a few links that have caught my eye over the last day or two:
Future is the creation of Christianity and the Christian era, and this is so because Christianity puts death and resurrection at the center of its creed: “Christians believe in an end of the world, not only once but again and again. This and this alone is the power which enables us to die to our old habits and ideals, get out of our old ruts, leave our dead selves behind and take the first step into a genuine future.” Rosenstock-Huessy goes so far as to say that “Christianity and future are synonymous” (CF 63-64).
Through creating future, a common future, Christianity also created the possibility of a unified human race. The church entered a “world of divided loyalties – races, classes, tribes, empires, all living to themselves alone.” Jesus did not destroy these pre-existing loyalties, but fulfilled them: “by a gift of a real future, Christianity implanted in the very midst of men’s loyalties a power which, reaching back from the end of time, drew them step by step into unity” (CF 62). Pagan thought means “disunity, dividedness of mankind,” and this dividedness is as much temporal as spatial. Pagans never arrived at a view that history was one; each history instead begins and ends something “within time,” and so “pagan thought almost universally pictures human life as a decline from a golden age in the past toward ultimate destruction in the future” (CF 63). This tragic view of time can do no more than cultivate virtues of endurance: “it faces the world with prudence and courage; it is grounded in the facts of experience.” But paganism cannot produce faith, hope, and love. This is because paganism “lacks future,” and also because paganism leads to a lack of future.
Leithart blogs on God, Time, and the Christian Era here.
There is a curious feature about several of the parallels between the Gospel of Thomas and the Synoptics. On at least four occasions where Thomas has lengthy parallels with the Synoptics, he lacks a parallel to the middle part of the story. It is a phenomenon I label the missing middle. It is easy to see when we lay out Thomas in parallel with the Synoptics.
Read the whole of Mark Goodacre’s perceptive post here.
***Listen to the audio of Alister McGrath’s critique of Richard Dawkins here [HT: Ben Witherington].
***Ben Myers posts the next Thomas Torrance audio lectures here.
***…and observes that there is indeed a Bob Dylan album for every season.
***Garrett Craw puts things into perspective.
***Jeff Meyers podcasts on Romans 11.
***Buy Britney’s hair — a ‘snip’ at $1m!