Archive for May, 2015

Three American Worldviews

May 30, 2015

Who doesn’t like a scheme to explain everything? Well, Ross Douthat takes the recent Pew data and argues that we are seeing more a division into three camps. The religions, the secular, and the “spiritual”. And it may not stay that way.

Basically, the biggest thing we’re seeing happening, visible in those declining religious affiliation numbers and the steady rise of the “nones,” is that part of what I’m calling the vast “spiritual” middle of American life is drifting in a more secular direction. I say drifting because disaffiliation is not enough to define a person as secular, and indeed one of the striking things about the unaffiliated is how many of them still have religious habits — prayer, belief in God or an afterlife, etc. — and how few explicitly self-identify as atheists.

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More thoughts on Christian Perspective

May 30, 2015

Another piece on the cultural situation of the church. Having lost power, we are called to be the church. I think that’s mostly right (though we may not all agree on what the church actually looks like!).

Typography

May 30, 2015

Some thoughts on capitalization.

The Cost of an Adjunct

May 30, 2015

Does the use of adjuncts affect the student? I think the answer is pretty obvious, and here’s an exploration of the issue. Here’s part of the issue:

But various obstacles make it difficult for adjuncts to engage in those traditional relationships, too. Outside-the-classroom responsibilities—office hours, advisement, and recommendation letters, for example—are rarely spelled out in their contracts.

Modernism and Religious Conservatives

May 30, 2015

Rod Dreher often has some interesting things to say. Here he highlights problems with some of modern evangelical (and fundamentalist) thinking – while observing that there are still some contributions to be made. Here’s the key argument:

Christians who refuse, even denigrate, the Church’s deep theological roots in history, strike me as holding a conservatism that is a hard outer shell. What happens when the experience of living in modernity, with its valorization of radical autonomy, erodes or pierces the armor? With their creedless, non-denominational, make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach to Christianity, they are sitting ducks. They deny themselves the wisdom and profundity of tradition, which would give them deep roots. Ironically, their approach to ecclesiology is itself part of modernity, the very thing they oppose so fiercely. Christian fundamentalism, especially in its nondenominational variety, is parasitic on older, more ancient forms of Christianity, in ways that its adherents don’t appreciate.

End of Casual Christianity

May 30, 2015

Is this the result of the transformed American cultural setting? I think it might be, and I’m not so sure it’s a bad thing. But it will require us rethinking how to relate to the broader culture.

The value of theology

May 7, 2015

A quick hit on three reasons theology is important.

The Decline of Pseudoscience?

May 7, 2015

One can only hope.

A defense of books

May 7, 2015

Another in a series of posts defending the physical book. There are certainly parts of this I agree with, such as:

Since bibliophiles are happy to acknowledge the absurdity, the obese impracticality of gathering more books than there are days to read them, one’s collection must be about more than remembering—it must be about expectation also.

On Androgogy

May 7, 2015

There is a lot of talk about adult style learning, androgogy rather than pedagogy, at least in what I’ve read and heard over the last few years. One thing I know about that, is it includes putting desks in a circle.