Sunday, October 04, 2009

Blog Tour: 9/27 - 10/3

Wherein I look around the web - hopefully once a week - and draw some attention to things I see there that interest me.

If you want to know where I go, look at the links on the left of my blog under "Places I Frequent". From there, I will go places those places may point me. Typically, I will also list up to three of my favorite posts from the current Christian Carnival - and may go somewhere those blogs take me.

Sometimes they will be topically organized, and sometimes just in order of the links I visited. Enjoy:

  • Christian Carnival posts:
    • Andrea presents "Safe and Sound" posted at Unfailingly Loved.
      Lost and unsure of your way? Call out to the Lord. He is faithful to be present. He knows your name, where you are, and where you need to go.
    • Annette presents "By Faith – Abel, Enoch and Noah" posted at Fish and Cans.
      She examines three examples of faith from Hebrews 11 and looks at how their story might find application in our lives.
    • Rey presents "The Holy Spirit", an overview on the reality and person of the Holy Spirit, posted at The Bible Archive.
      Listening to the various songs on my iPod, I came across one that has been one of my favorites from the time I first heard it about two years ago. The words helped me begin to understand what true salvation was and the title said it all… In Christ Alone.
      [He linked this video, which I think he created. Awesome]

  • Lots of discussion on the arrest of Roman Polanski. There were no arguments against his arrest where I read - but all talked about, and against, the defense of Polanski. I will limit myself to one argument against Polanski's arrest in Switzerland and eventual jailing -- Anne Applebaum writes "The Outrageous Arrest of Roman Polanski":
    Of all nations, why was it Switzerland -- the country that traditionally guarded the secret bank accounts of international criminals and corrupt dictators -- that finally decided to arrest Roman Polanski? There must be some deeper story here, because by any reckoning the decision was bizarre -- though not nearly as bizarre as the fact that a U.S. judge wants to keep pursuing this case after so many decades.
    and one argument in favor -- Ron Radosh's "Can We Still Trust Anne Applebaum? Her Irrational Defense of Polanski":
    The usually astute Anne Applebaum, whose columns on political matters and the crimes of Communism are second to none, also joined in on behalf of Polanski’s defense. Writing in a Washington Post blog, Applebaum offered the following unique set of defenses: First, there “is evidence of judicial misconduct.” Since she wrote that line, however, new information has been released that indicates the testimony offered in last year’s documentary about Polanski, which for many people proved judicial misconduct, has been withdrawn by the talking head, the L.A. prosecutor in charge of the Polanski judicial misconduct allegations . . .
    Even if I wasn't the father of a girl who was molested at 13 by an adult - I would argue that the vast majority of folks are right: Polanski should have been arrested and should go to jail. This is really a no-brainer - haridly "bizarre" or "outrageous"

    Some of the court documents:

  • A look at hyperliteralism from Erik at Fundamentally Changed with "Myopegesis and Hyperliteralism":
    The Danger of Hyperliteralism
    1. It is not the form of interpretation used by the biblical authors in the first place.
    2. It ignores the original matrix of the Scriptures (things like genre, idiom and linguistic development) in favor of a reading based on the current matrix.
    3. It places interpretation in the control of the interpreter.
    4. It is closed-ended. It forces the expositor to close his eyes to reinterpretation.
    It seems to me all of those elements, while true, are subject to the same problems they illuminate. Are we sure we know what forms of interpretation, matrixs, etc. the authors used? All of these issues place interpretation in someone's hands - the reader, the scholar, the critic. That is true especially of the last with it's "reinterpretation". However, this is a great post and should be read.

  • Melinda at Stand to Reason looks at a poll from Pew Research Group that shows that pro-life folks are continuing to be successful at their job of moving the hearts and minds of Americans on the issue of abortion. "Pro-life Support Increases":
    Pew released the results of a new poll this week that shows pro-life convictions increasing across demographic and political groups
  • Steven Hayward has an article in Washington Post titled "Is Conservatism Brain Dead?" :
    The single largest defect of modern conservatism, in my mind, is its insufficient ability to challenge liberalism at the intellectual level, in particular over the meaning and nature of progress. In response to the left's belief in political solutions for everything, the right must do better than merely invoking "markets" and "liberty." [HT: The Volokh Conspiracy]
  • Jeremy at Parableman pointed me to Jared Wilson as an orthodox theologian in the emerging movement. His blog is the Gospel-Driven Church - and Jared points to an Christianity Today interview with Bryan Chappell on "Transcending the Worship Wars":   
    Christ-centered worship is not just talking or singing about Jesus a lot. Christ-centered worship reflects the contours of the gospel. In the individual life of a believer, the gospel progresses through recognition of the greatness and goodness of God, the acknowledgment of our sin and need of grace, assurance of God's forgiveness through Christ, thankful acknowledgment of God's blessing, desire for greater knowledge of him through his Word, grateful obedience in response to his grace, and a life devoted to his purposes with assurance of his blessing.

    In the corporate life of the church this same gospel pattern is reflected in worship
  • Alan Bevere is looking at a book called Political Visions and Illusions by David Koyzis. In the "Introduction":   
    So what is an ideology? Koyzis gives his working definition, "...I view ideologies as modern types of that ancient phenomenon idolatry, complete with their own accounts of sin and redemption. From the beginning of its narrative, Scripture inveighs against the worship of idols, false gods that human beings have created. Like these biblical idolatries, every ideology is based on taking something out of creation's totality, raising it above that creation, and making the latter revolve around and serve it. It is further based on the assumption that this idol has the capacity to save us from some real or perceived evil in the world" (p. 15).
  • Inspired by Rob Bell's loose definition of "evangelical" that was quoted quite a bit this last week - Scot McKnight at The Jesus Creed does a followup on evangelicalism. First, he starts with a definition of evangelical :  
    To define "evangelical" we need to pay attention to those who have made it their life study to come to terms with this movement, and two scholars have done just that: Mark Noll in the USA and David Bebbington (The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon And Moody (History of Evangelicalism) ) in the UK. They agree on this: an evangelical is a Christian Protestant for whom the central ideas are the leading authority of Scripture, the necessity of personal conversion, the centrality of the death of Christ on the cross as a substitutionary atonement, and the importance of a life of active following Jesus, seen in such things as Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, and deeds of compassion and justice. That is the standard definition of evangelical.

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    How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
    1. The Golden Rule
    2. You cannot read minds
    3. People are not evil
    4. Debates are not for winning
    5. You make mistakes
    6. Not everyone cares as much as you
    7. Engaging is hard work
    8. Differences can be subtle
    9. Give up quietly