Archive for January, 2015

The Ideal Communist City

January 28, 2015

This was an interesting bit of history. It makes a parallel (admittedly incomplete) with elements of the new urbanist agenda, The big issue is putting an agenda over people (and what people actually want).

On the Purpose of College

January 27, 2015

A discussion of the ongoing debate about the purpose of a college education. Some interesting material. But a few thoughts:

1) Too much attention to Ronald Reagan (cast as the anti-liberal education anti-here, despite the long history of debate…)

2) The debate on exactly what a liberal education is actually turns this into a least a three-sided argument, with practical, classical liberal education, and the new cultural studies dominated liberal education views represented (and I wonder how much the introductory Reagan anecdote has to do with the third entry in the debate).

Still worth a read.

The New Political Correctness

January 27, 2015

Jonathan Chait on the new political correctness. A long but well worth reading piece.

Occupy the Syllabus!

January 27, 2015

All I can say is – Wow! This is an example of one problem in modern education. It’s not the most well-argued piece ever.

The End of the Sexual Revolution?

January 6, 2015

David French suggests that the recent discussions of rape culture, false rape claims, “yes means yes”, and so on perhaps are the beginning of the end of the sexual revolution. It’s a result of this:

Colleges, as part of a toxic mix of radical politics and rampant consumerism, recreated the university experience as an ideologically charged Disneyland, where real academic work was deemphasized, traditional values were demonized, and the party became ever more important. The result wasn’t just an expensive amusement park, but one that was intentionally highly sexualized.

French argues for a serious alternative.

CT Books of the Year

January 6, 2015

That time of year for those best of lists. And books I like! Here’s the Christianity Today one.

The Academic Job Market

January 6, 2015

Some thoughts from Ben Witherington about the job market he shared last month. I think he’s largely on target, which suggests an interesting future ahead. It begins with this somewhat depressing start:

I was having lunch with my friend Jerry Sumney in Lexington. He’s a very fine NT scholar at Lexington Theological Seminary, which in essence has stopped having regular semester on campus classes. It does online classes, and has intensives in January and in the summer. It does not take a seer to see that in the next ten or so years many seminaries are likely to go this route, or to simply shut down.

The comments are also worth looking at if you are up to it.

This is What Theology Looks Like

January 6, 2015

Here’s a clear example of an approach to theology that seems to  put praxis over doctrine. In fact, it seems to reduce traditional theological topics lie the resurrection to something quite different:

The physical resurrection of Jesus, then, was an embodied declaration that this black life mattered. This prophetic claim was not enacted in an academy or a temple, however; it was embodied in the streets as people witnessed a physical disruption—and those in power ran scared.

Obviously, there is a pretty radical political dimension to this (and one that seemingly glosses over the vast differences in the examples cited). Nevertheless, it is an interesting exemplar of one modern trajectory.

The Problem with the Open Office

January 3, 2015

I’ve seen a few articles like this recently. A reminder that there is a reason that traditional offices worked for so long.

Thoughts on reading

January 3, 2015

Don’t read narrow and shallow. This is pretty good advice.

So, let us get outside our own century and our own circle. Let us have lists with a little of a patristic flavour, with a few of the best medievals, a dose of the Reformers, a shot of the Puritans and their successors, a fillip of the eighteenth century men, a snack on the best that the nineteenth has to offer, and a smattering of the twentieth, as well as the low-lying fruit of the twenty-first. Let the breeze of the centuries waft over your souls. Roam the world where the truth has taken root – let the theologians of Europe and Africa and Asia and Australia, and perhaps even America, expand your sense as they wrestle with and apply theology in a context utterly unlike your own. Are you more of a historian? Read some biblical theology! Systematics your thing? How about some missiology? Linguistics float your boat? Dive into a few more biographies. Love your new Calvinists? Read some old ones – get into the Puritans! More of a Genevan? Have a dig around in the Calvinistic Methodists. Stuck in the sentiment of the Victorians? Take a bracing dose of a scholarly Scot. Mired in the multiplied divisions of the Puritans? Shake yourself loose with a canter through the church fathers. Plodding through the Princetonians? Dive into the Particular Baptists. Drowning in the Particular Baptists? Get stuck into the English or Continental Reformers.