June 16, 2015

A fascinating article on euthanasia for non-terminal conditions. Frightening stuff. Here’s a glimpse at the scope of it:

Although most of the Belgian patients had cancer, people have also been euthanized because they had autism, anorexia, borderline personality disorder, chronic-fatigue syndrome, partial paralysis, blindness coupled with deafness, and manic depression.

New Atheism

June 13, 2015

An interesting read on the New Atheism. Here’s a good paragraph:

For secular thinkers, the continuing vitality of religion calls into question the belief that history underpins their values. To be sure, there is disagreement as to the nature of these values. But pretty well all secular thinkers now take for granted that modern societies must in the end converge on some version of liberalism. Never well founded, this assumption is today clearly unreasonable. So, not for the first time, secular thinkers look to science for a foundation for their values.

The New Bible

June 13, 2015

This is from a while back, but looks cool nonetheless.

The New Education

June 13, 2015

A humorous take on the educational system of today.

The Crocodile and the Plover

June 13, 2015

Here’s a way to think about culture and the church. A symbiotic relationship not a partnership. Here’s part of the point:

So let’s keep cleaning the crocodile’s teeth whilst it permits, but don’t assume a true friendship that isn’t there, and biblically has no warrant anyway. Keep seeking the welfare of Perth/Melbourne/SydneyNew York/Whereverland, but don’t be disappointed, angry or horrified when and if the jaws finally snap.

What is Christianity?

June 12, 2015

Damon Linker makes some interesting observations about the malleable nature of Christianity. I think his early history is not quite right (the early church had a stronger center than he represents – as though only at Nicea was a doctrinal boundary set). But as a historical observation, it is true that there are some distinctive variety in Christianity that does need some attention.

And here’s a response by Ross Douthat. Which clarifies the particular model of rights that Linker is speaking of (adult autonomy).

College for a New Age

June 12, 2015

Some thoughts on the future of higher education. Here’s the hope:

“The story of higher education’s future is a tale of ancient institutions in their last days of decadence, creating the seeds of a new world to come,” he writes. If he is right, higher education will be transformed into a different kind of learning experience that is cheaper, better, more personalized and more useful.

And here’s another take on the topic. With this observation:

The most important lesson of recent commentary on higher ed isn’t about disruption; it’s about the importance of learning as a way of life that can be made much more accessible with tools both old and new.

Some Friday Humor

June 12, 2015

Just for some Friday fun. How to Be Gluten Intolerant.

Pro-Israel Theology

June 12, 2015

This is an interesting take on how Christians should deal with the issue of Israel. There are a few problems with the account: 1) he overestimates the effect of dispensationalism on American religion and politics and 2) it overstates the impact of dispensationalism as a system on our approach on one’s view of the current state of Israel. But those are theoretical objections at some level, for at a populist level there’s a measure of truth to the comments.

Road to Character

June 12, 2015

An interview with David Brooks on his recent book. Some interesting theological thoughts. Here he is on Augustine:

With him what I found so attractive, and this is more a Christian concept, is the concept of grace, the concept of undeserved love. It helps to feel religious to experience grace. Even if you’re secular person, you can always have the feeling that people love you more than you deserve and that you’re accepted.

And here’s a column he wrote on the impact of relativism. Partly driven by this:

People sometimes wonder why I’ve taken this column in a spiritual and moral direction of late. It’s in part because we won’t have social repair unless we are more morally articulate, unless we have clearer definitions of how we should be behaving at all levels.