Thursday, July 27, 2006

How come I always get tagged for these book things?

1. One book that changed your life:
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Stanley Hauerwas, A Community of Character

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
I don't know, but something large enough to give me some shade.

4. One book that made you laugh:
Mark Helprin, Memoir From Antproof Case (the best way to read this book is to read the dedication AFTER you finish the rest of it)

5. One book that made you cry:
Mark Helprin, Soldier of the Great War (there are some ubelievable moments in this one) or, Louis De Bernieres, Corelli's Mandolin

6. One book that you wish had been written:
How to speak Russian fluently in just one week

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
The Scofield Reference Bible

8. One book you’re currently reading:
Michael Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics
(also, Sigrid Unset, Kristin Lavransdatter; Jim Steinmeyer, The Glorious Deception; and N T Wright, Reflecting the Glory)

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
For me meaning to read and planning to read are the same thing since I'm pretty systematic in my reading (in contrast to the rest of my life). One I'm looking forward to is TR's Through the Brazilian Wilderness.

If you can read this and have read enough to fill it out yourself, consider yourself "tagged" and leave a comment so I know to look for your responses.

Monday, July 17, 2006

In what we call chapter 14 of Romans, St Paul said, "now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions." The question of who Paul meant by the "weak in faith" is an interesting one. Loren Rossen cites scholar Mark Nanos saying the the weak in faith are non-christian Jews. Go read his arguments on this point.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Make a point of purchasing the current issue of National Review. The issue features a compelling piece by George Gilder on how information theory shows darwinian evolution to be logically impossible.

edit: or be cheap and read the whole thing here

Monday, July 10, 2006

I was able to read most of Walter Bruggemann's An Introduction to the Old Testament over vacation. While I often diagreed with his perspective and emphasis, I found a number of useful points scattered throughout. One in particular was his reading of Ezekiel 18. In this chapter, you might remember, God speaks about a just man who has an evil son. The evil son also has a son. This grandson, according to the passage, will not be judged for his father's sins, but rather on whether he chooses to be evil (like his father) or just (like his grandfather). This passage is taken by many christian theologians as the great passage on individual responsibility.

This interpretation, however, has bothered me lately since it seems much more individualist than I think would be possible for an ancient Israelite. Brueggemann, while not particularly noting my objection, nonetheless provides a way forward which actually makes considerable sense of the text. He says that the traditional reading "is erroneous because it seeks to turn the text into a universal moral principle, when in fact the text must be understood in context, locally and pastorally."

Looking at the sepcifics of the sins mentioned by Ezekiel (idolatry, sexual sin and econimic sin), Brueggemann suggests it is "likely that three generations are not a theoretical case, but refer in turn to (a) Josiah the good king (2 Kings 23:25), (b) Jehoiakim the bad king (2 Kings 23:36-37), and (c) Jehoiachin the third king (2 Kings 24:8-12)." Since Jehoichin is the king who oversaw the exile and the only king mentiones by Ezekiel (1:2), this would indicate that what is being spoken of here is the fate of the entire generation of Israel, located in representative fashion in the person of the king. (quotes are from page 206 of the 2003 paperback edition)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Not that it really makes any difference, given how little I've been writing lately, but I'll be out of town and not blogging for the next week.

I was in a class all afternoon for the last 2 weeks, so that's my excuse for that period as well. Be good out there.