Links for the week:
4. The Kingdom of the Parables
5. In Westminster Abbey … Reflections on C.S. Lewis
6. Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women
7. Why Young Evangelicals Should Support Hobby Lobby
8. More Allegations of Plagiarism Surface Against Mark Driscoll
9. Bible Jeopardy 3 – Designed for kids, but fun for adults too. How did you do?
10. Review of Oliver O’Donovan’s Self, World, and Time
11. In Which I Try and Fail to Make Sense of an Essay on the Future of the Bible
12. Uncomfortable Words: James Baldwin on “Negro Spirituals”
13. The Theology of Eucatastrophe
18. Manly, Manful … Man Up? The Language of Manliness
19. Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People For Being Alive
20. Universities Should Be the Last Places to Ban Free Speech
21. KKK Member Walks Up To Black Musician in a Bar…
22. Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts
23. If You Must Talk Politics at Thanksgiving, Here’s How
26. Google Glass: What You’re Not Supposed to Do
27. Modernity = The Middle Ages
28. ‘Sorry!: The English and Their Manners’ by Henry Hitchings
29. The Psychology of First Person Shooter Games
33. Heroes Shattered: Teddy Roosevelt was a Eugenicist
34. Gay Snub Cornish B&B Owners Lose Supreme Court Appeal
35. Bull vs Hall – Supreme Court Ruling
36. The Pilling Report: Working Group on Human Sexuality
38. Yan Tan Tethera Pethera Pimp – An Old System For Counting Sheep
39. Yan Tan Tethera and the Rock of the Old North
40. Women More Liberated As Their Attitudes to Sex Change
41. Families – Recent research on American households
42. Historical Research and Its Impact – Discussing misunderstandings of the concept and historical phenomenon of coverture.
43. Gravity Spinoff: Watch the Other Side of Sandra Bullock’s Distress Call
44. The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Psychopath
45. Doctor Who: 50 Things You Didn’t Know
46. On Graduate School and ‘Love’
47. It’s Thanksgiving, So We Asked Brits to Label the United States
48. …think that you can do better? Try this. My first attempt was 94% in 1m32s.
49. Douglas Campbell: Developments in My Field of Study
50. Car Pulled out of an Icy Lake Baikal
The map labeling link is fun, just for the silliness of it (and that’s perhaps the only quiz I have outperformed you on). What’s sad is that Americans would have pretty much the same sort of results labeling the provinces of Canada, and there’s not nearly so many of those.
Here’s another good link for you, via my friend Todd Granger:
Fascinating read! Thanks for passing that on.
Hello Alastair, I discovered your blog based on link 42 above, me being the person under discussion in that post. Your blog is very interesting, it looks like an excellent resource for various discussions regarding religion and family life and gender relations; subjects I myself am very interested in.
I write a lot on gender relations and family issues and try to put things into an overall pseudo-religious context understandable and acceptable to atheists and other people not tied to organized religion. I also have a definite political point of view and consider myself an advocate; not merely an observer of events. I am an atheist who supports patriarchy combined with Chivalry; Chivalry being the ethic that men have a duty to “provide for and protect” women.
Looking at your blogroll it seems you are mostly linking to religious blogs. I advocate moral values consistent with religious teachings and try to teach a kind of atheist version of how the world is put together and organized very similar to what Christianity teaches. Maybe my blog Secular Patriarchy would fit with the overall theme of your blogroll? I could link to your site as a kind of reference source for further reading to my readers.
I have written a post at my site that might be of special interest to you:
What the Superior Power means to me as an Atheist
Thank you for the comment, Jesse. I will take a look at your post.
Been reading introductory books on Christianity:
1. C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity: Actually very good, especially on what it is like to live as a Christian. The problem is that the start is absolutely atrocious. He starts off trying to lawyer you into believing, and the trilemma, or at least his formulation of it, is one of the absolute nadirs of his writing. Plus, there is the problem of an overly chatty tone, coming out of the books origin as a radio broadcast I would guess. But the book picks up steam as it gets going and those problems drop away. Really a small masterpiece. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Christianity, but only after a stern warning about the beginning.
2. John Stott – Basic Christianity: Very practical and no nonsense. I liked it a lot, but it really lacks Lewis’ dramatic flair for taking you inside the Christian life. I didn’t find Stott’s discussion of the historicity of the resurrection very convincing. Also, a bit dry at times.
Of the three books I’ve looked at, I’d put Lewis first, with the above caveats, then Stott, then Spufford. I would only recommend Spufford as a gateway drug to someone who was really, really hostile to Christianity, as he does meet the secular reader on his own terms, though often way too much so.
I have found this an very useful exercise. Sometimes going over the basics is very helpful even for someone who has been a Christian for a long time. You get reminded of stuff you have forgotten.
Planning on looking at McGrath, Sproul, Kreeft, Ratzinger/Benedict, the Grudems in the future. Any other suggestions?
Also read Doug Wilson’s book on satire. Very worthwhile start, though more work needs to be done on how to relate a spirit of kindness with harsh language. (I have a essay I am picking away at on the politics of satire and comedy, so I thought I’d give it a read.)
I have mixed feelings on that book. I agree with much of it in theory, but the practice remains problematic in many cases, I think.
Also finished Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom. A great book. The two previous books of his I had read, his book on Pentecostalism and his book on Postmodernism, were useful, but not particularly great.
1. You know my gripes about his use of words like religion and liturgy. I think we relate in fundamentally different ways to personal and material things (and relating included how we act towards those things, not just how we think, imagine etc. about them). I found myself thinking stuff like, “Do we really approach a cash register like we do an altar? Really?”
2. Smith is better at knocking down others misconceptions than he is about putting forward his own positive ideas. No, we are not primarily thinking entities, but are we really primarily desiring or imagining entities either? Or are those also reductions?
3. He doesn’t always practice what he preaches. I see nothing to make me retract my charge that his culture is excessively centred on fairly recent work, both popular and high.
But we already went over a lot of this.
Anyway, Smith appears to be really maturing as a scholar.
I will be interested to see how his work develops, especially as he takes on more of the influence of Oliver O’Donovan.
Sorry about the delayed response: I’ve just arrived back from a long weekend away.
Interesting project! You could probably add N.T. (Tom) Wright’s Simply Christian to that list. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the others. Writing a brief introduction to Christian faith in a series of blog posts has actually been on my to-do list for a while. Expressing the basics in a clear and compelling fashion is an incredibly important exercise, always worth returning to (something that I am occasionally reminded of when I have to explain the faith to an unschooled non-Christian in conversation).