Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trapped in Neverland

I waste a lot of time reading a lot of different stuff when I should be reading more from Carl Trueman. This is a great article, an apt warning.
Today is so different. If the poverty and hard work of my grandfather's era left men middle-aged at thirty, the ease and trivia of today's society seems to leave us trapped in a permanent Neverland where we all, like so many Peter (and Patty) Pans, live lives of eternal youth. Where my grandfather spent his day hard at work, trying - sometimes desperately - to make enough money to put bread on the table and shoes on his children's feet, today many have time to play X-Box and video games, or warble on and on incessantly in that narcissistic echo-chamber that is the blogosphere. The world of my grandfather was evil because it made him grow up too fast; the world of today is evil because it prevents many from ever growing up at all.

The answer, then, is not a naïve, nostalgic hankering for a return to an era of poverty and cruel hardship. Rather it is surely obvious: we need to put aside childish things and start acting like adults. Pascal put his finger on the problem of human life when he saw how entertainment had come to occupy a place, not as the necessary and momentary relief from a life of work, but as an end in itself.

Saylorville Baptist Men's Retreat Audio Online

We had an great time at the Saylorville Baptist Church Men's Retreat with people from Saylorville, Lakeside Fellowship, and Living Waters Fellowship. Randy Gaumer was there and his messages were excellent. They are now online. Click to listen:
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Book Recommendation

I'm not sure that I have read a book recently that has so profoundly moved me. I'm only 70 pages in, but have highlighted at least once on every page. This is proof for any reflective person that there's someone out there that understands you, but more, challenges you to act.

The Myth of Certainty, Daniel Taylor

The Digitization of Sinaiticus and its Media Beepbop

ht: Justin Taylor

Nicholas Perrin on a BBC story, 'The Oldest Bible':
According to the online Urban Dictionary, the word 'beepbop' is not really a word at all: it is a nonsense word to be used only when you want to really annoy someone. In that case, the British Broadcasting Corporation, otherwise known as the BBC, or more affectionately as 'the Beeb', has aired its own sort of 'beepbop' in its coverage of the digitization of the Codex Sinaiticus. Roger Bolton's October 6 story, 'The Oldest Bible', which premiered on Radio 4, might in fact be a textbook example of 'beepbop' nonsense, intended in this case to provoke Bible-believing Christians. Of course, I understand that journalists often have a goal of taking what are otherwise mundane news items and spicing them up, even sensationalizing them. But the Beeb has a problem here. You cannot position yourself as one of the most reputable and responsible news organizations in the world and at the same time go public with a piece like this one.

Read the whole article

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Constantine and the Council of Nicaea

“My dear,” Teabing declared, “until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet…a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.”

“Not the Son of God?”

“Right,” Teabing said. “Jesus’ establishment as ‘the Son of God’ was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicæa.”

“Hold on. You’re saying Jesus’ divinity was the result of a vote?”

“A relatively close vote at that,” Teabing added. “Nonetheless, establishing Christ’s divinity was critical to the further unification of the Roman empire and to the new Vatican power base. By officially endorsing Jesus as the Son of God, Constantine turned Jesus into a deity who existed beyond the scope of the human world, an entity whose power was unchallengeable. This not only precluded further pagan challenges to Christianity, but now the followers of Christ were able to redeem themselves only via the established sacred channel—the Roman Catholic Church.”

Dan Brown makes so enormous claims in his book The Da Vinci Code. So do they square with the historical record? This paper walks through the major church histories to examine his claims.

Constantine and the Council of Nicaea