Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quotable: Stott

Of course any contemporary observer who saw Christ die would have listened with astonished incredulity to the claim that the Crucified was a Conqueror. Had he not been rejected by his own nation, betrayed, denied and deserted by his own disciples, and executed by authority of the Roman procurator? Look at him there, spread-eagled and skewered on his cross, robbed of all freedom of movement, strung up with nails or ropes or both, pinned there and powerless. It appears to be total defeat. If there is victory, it is the victory of pride, prejudice, jealousy, hatred, cowardice and brutality. Yet the Christian claim is that the reality is the opposite of the appearance. What looks like (and indeed was) the defeat of goodness by evil is also, and more certainly, the defeat of evil by goodness. Overcome there, he was himself overcoming. Crushed by the ruthless power of Rome, he was himself crushing the serpent's head (Gen 3:15). The victim was the victor, and the cross is still the throne from which he rules the world.

John Stott, The Cross of Christ, 223-224

Friday, September 17, 2010

Concerning Duchamp

This will probably be of interest to no one in particular, but I wanted to save this thought for future reference.

Duchamp accomplished nothing but showing he could tell a joke, one that wasn't and isn't funny and that no one could possibly get. The interpreter is mocked both if he praises it and if he despises it. He either has elevated it to the aesthetic--which for Duchamp is enraging seeing it is after all just an ordinary object which has aesthetic value only by osmosis--or he has not appreciated its seriousness as art. cf. The End of Art, Donald Kuspit

How long does it take the read the Bible?

John Dyer has the answer: LINK

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Philosophers Do

"If our forms of explanation cannot acknowledge and understand evil, then we will remain opaque to ourselves morally and politically. Here, the philosophical inquiry intersects with practical issues of what to do about the problems of evil that are so pressing in contemporary politics. Philosophy cannot, however, give prescriptions for political or individual action. Philosophers have no particular political expertise, because politics remains an art, a matter of judging the possible within multiple intersecting contexts. This is especially true today, when governments must act simultaneously before domestic and international audiences. Nor can philosophers reach the level of particularity that characterizes the life choices of an individual. Philosophy may help us to understand love and evil, but it cannot tell us whom we should love or whether we should hate.

Philosophers can, however, bring contemporary problems into contact with larger traditions within which our thinking operates. They can help to explain why we see our problems and possibilities as we do. Our perceptions of self and world, of meaning and value, are deeply embedded in the history of Western understandings. We do not make the world anew; we inherit it. We perceive meaning in certain ways because we perceive the world to be of a certain character. The philosopher's role is to clarify this structure of thought."

Paul W. Kahn, Out of Eden, 14-15.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Death of Jesus in Recent New Testament Study, Marshal

This is a good article, very intriguing: LINK

I found this intriguing especially in the context of some comments Dr. Wallace made in class the other day about the centrality of the Deuteronomic curse (Deut 21:22-23) in the development of Paul's theology of salvation. The question was, "how can a man who is so obviously cursed be the Messiah?"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quotable: Ivan Karamazov

"I understand nothing," Ivan went on, as though in delirium. "I don't want to understand anything now. I want to stick to the fact. I made up my mind long ago not to understand. If I try to understand anything, I shall be false to the fact, and I have determined to stick to the fact."

Keller: What is the Bible About?

ht: Justin Taylor

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why I hate Advertising

I realized opening the mail today that it's almost gotten to the point that I don't take a central claim of any advertising straightforwardly. Advertising is purposefully deceptive almost 100% of the time. I got a letter from Wells Fargo today which said right at the top:


You have the right to a free credit report from or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.

It's placed top-center because it gives the impression that "THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW" applies to the entire page. The referent for "THIS" is intentionally ambiguous. The font from the first line is set apart from what is written below it. What is below is an advertising for a $12.99 credit protection service. It took me about 30 seconds to figure out that the letter was in fact an advertisement for a paid service. I'd imagine that a fairly high percentage of subscribers to this service through the letter weren't totally clear on why they were sent the letter or what they were doing in sending it back.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Unicode Λυω Paradigm

LINK: Fill in the blanks on top. If you are wrong the answer will turn red. Unicode so that it will work for everyone. Enjoy!

Also, Gentium is the best unicode Greek font I've found.