Links 21 – 28/12/13

1. On the Incarnation: Four Chalcedonian Sonnets

2. 13. The Serpent Bites the Dust; 14. Glory in the Highest; 15. The Woman’s Desire; 16. The Painful Good

3. Pope Eugen I, Francis on Islam

4. Homosexuality and the Resurrection of Disability

5. Why “Fourteen Generations” in the Genealogy of Matthew 1?

6. Being Present

7. Liturgical Logic, Part 2

8. Divine Simplicity Sure Ain’t Simple

9. Idolatry and Indifference

10. O’Donovan, Historicism, and Nature; Historicism and Liberalism; Historicism and Marriage

11. Bauckham on Paul’s Christology of Divine Identity

12. The Genuine Conflict Being Ignored in the Duck Dynasty Debate

13. At the Foot of the Cross with Thomas Hirschhorn

14. The Gift Half Understood: Tolkien and the Riddle of Christmas

15. It’s the Gospel Truth—So Take It or Leave It

16. The People Who Challenged My Atheism Most Were Drug Addicts and Prostitutes

17. Ideas from a Manger

18. The Friendly Beasts—A Brief History of a Delightful Carol

19. The Puritan War on Christmas

20. Gruess Von Krampus

21. A Qualified Defence of Therapeutic Christianity

22. Funding the Clergy

23. GLAAD Tidings, But Not of Comfort and Joy

24. Spain Approves New Restrictive Abortion Law

25. Vicars Defrocked

26. Right-Wing Group Seeks Help Rewriting the Bible Because It’s Not Conservative Enough

27. Are Boys Irrational?

28. There is no “True” Prevalence of ADHD

29. The Case for Female SEALs

30. Why Marketers Fear the Female Geek

31. Peak Civilization: The Fall of the Roman Empire

32. Generous Work/Family Policies Don’t Guarantee Equality

33. The Writing Prompts Subreddit – For those wanting an idea to spark their next novel.

34. The 15 Best Behavioural Science Graphs of 2010-13

35. 18 Dazzling Photos from National Geographic’s History

36. Watch Youtube in Slow Motion

37. 10 Truly Bizarre Victorian Deaths

38. The Dimensions of Colour

39. Alan Turing’s Body

40. List of Notable Trees

41. What is it Like Watching Your Spouse Grow Older?

42. ‘Man Flu’: The Truth Women Don’t Want to Hear

43. Dandong: North Korea’s Most Surprising Border

44. Archaeology vs. Physics: Conflicting Roles for Old Lead

45. Why Are People Changing Their Minds About Same-Sex Marriage?

46. Possessive Individualism: Can We Really Own Ourselves?

47. How You’ll, Youse, and You Guys Talk – A quiz to place you on the dialect map.

48. Conservative Groups Spend Over $1bn a Year to Fight Action on Climate Change

49. The Kuleshov Effect

50. 2013: A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year for the Tech Industry

51. Stanford Researchers: It Is Trivially Easy to Match Metadata to Real People

52. Religion as a Product of Psychotropic Drug Use

53. Announcing Chess 2

54. 5 Reasons Why a ‘Faithful Film Adaptation’ of the Hobbit would Stink

55. Crane Operator Takes Incredible Photos of Shanghai

56. Celebrating Christmas and the Holidays, Then and Now

57. 12 Maps of America From Before We Knew What It Looked Like

58. The 15 Best-Selling Toys in History

59. 19 Sayings, Fixed

60. Why are the Virgin Birth, Empty Tomb, and Resurrection Controversial?

61. Into the Atmosphere

62. Horus Ruins Christmas

63. This Video Will Hurt

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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1 Response to Links 21 – 28/12/13

  1. The Man Who Was . . . says:

    Peter Berger – Rumor of Angels
    OK. I don’t really have much to say on this.

    Oliver O’Donovan – A Conversation Waiting to Begin.
    The first bit contained a fair bit of throat clearing, but the book picks up steam towards the end. Some useful things were said about how we related to scripture, though there was a bit of pedantry in there too. Matthew Anderson said something about it being really challenging for people on the conservative end of things, but I didn’t really pick any of that up. And the idea that we need a conversation doesn’t really strike me as likely to lead to much. The two sides are starting from vastly different premises and their different conclusions follow pretty straightforwardly from their premises. It’s a kind of shadow game.

    Harold Bloom – The American Religion (A reread)
    His notion of religion is wrong: it’s not based on fear of death. It’s also unclear what exactly he means by gnosticism. Modern religions don’t despise material reality, and in particular Mormon spirituality seems very materialistic. There may gnostic currents here and there in Joseph Smith’s thought (he seems to have been rather confused at times), but the main Mormon themes of making yourself into a (material) god though hard work, procreation, and organization don’t seem to me very gnostic at all. Mormonism seems all too comfortable in this cosmos. The chapters on Southern Baptist are quite illuminating, though, again, everything has to be shoehorned into a rather ill defined notion of gnosticism. The experiential religion of the Southern Baptists, were everything is reduced to the experience of Jesus, doesn’t seem to me very Christian at all. Though I have many reservations about the fundamentalist turn of the Southern Baptist Convention, much of what has happened there was simply a reassertion of historic Christian orthodoxy, in however crude a form. Finally, though many versions of American religion have overemphasized religious experience way way too much, we shouldn’t forget that religious experience, or at least some sort of spiritual intuition, is one of the crucial foundations of all religion, including Christianity.

    It’s interesting that in the 25 years since this book was published, most of the distinctively experiential religion in America has been swept away by what Christian Smith called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. Formerly ecstatic religion has been reduced to a sort of lowest common denominator sludge. Increasingly the only really religious people left in America seem to be regular orthodox Protestants, Mormons and Catholic immigrants of varying degrees of orthodoxy.

    Anyway, the book is very worthwhile, but a little crazy.

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