mostly random

Fun links from around the web

  • Richard Fellows has an intriguing little post on who stirred the pot in Corinth.
  • Jonathan Robinson offers sage insight on charismatic Christianity, insight which he’s given in the form of a confession.
  • My astute co-supervisor, Lloyd Pietersen has a new(ish) website for his thoughts on wine and opportunities for scheduling tastings.
  • My brother (Derek) just finished a great series on the book of Ruth, and he’s started a new series on 1 Timothy 4.12. Give them a listen here.
  • A goat-herder has found a new way of increasing his flock: he grows them on trees. (Okay, that’s not true; but the picture are).

Personal tidbits
I’m finally considering (with all seriousness) joining the Leisure Centre up the road. The reasons are multiple, but I’ll only give the big ones. First, I enjoy exercising, although I despise the first few weeks returning to a solid routine. Second, I’ve missed doing exercise (or, weight training) since moving to England. When my gorgeous wife and I lived in Cincinnati, I kept to a regular schedule of working out with a dear friend of mine (George). Third, I found that regular exercise contributed to my ability to think and concentrate. Since I have not done anything remotely resembling exercising here in England, that might explain why I’ve been struggling with my thoughts and focus. Finally, I’d like to get back in shape, not for aesthetic reasons but for healthy ones.

I recently began my annual teaching slot, a 5-week intensive course on Pauline theology. This year’s group (of 14 students) has already proven to be a lively and inquisitive bunch, which I thoroughly enjoy. While I’m looking forward to our discussions on various bits of Pauline theology, I’m truly anxious to discover what I will learn from the students. For me, teaching is not about spouting off what I (think I) know or offering grand ideas that will change the world; instead, because I prefer teaching through dialogue, teaching is a way of learning, and learning takes place when multiple ideas, practices and experiences converse with each other and strive for what is true, good and beneficial.

Curious rant
(*NB: this applies more to the States than anywhere else).

It might be a tad naive to say, but I’ve always been struck by the apparent one-sidedness of the ‘establishment clause’ in the US Constitution–i.e. the notorious separation between church and state. (For those of you better informed, feel free to school me or rip me a new one on this). It seems as though any time a religious (esp. Christian) belief or practice or moral viewpoint starts to creep into the political arena–whether it be politics in general, or institutions with political ties in particular–people shout, ‘separation of church and state!’ because of fear that the church is imposing itself on the state, which is explicitly contrary to the establishment clause.

However, any time a political belief or practice or agenda or moral viewpoint starts to creep into the religious (esp. Christian) sector–whether it be the church in general, or religious institutions (i.e. schools) in particular–the ‘separation’ exclamation is hardly a whisper. And even if such whispers are heard, they tend to be dismissed as coming from overreactive, hyper-conservative fundamentalists (i.e. those not worthy of hearing). But just because someone (or a group of someones) recognises an inconsistency or even a hypocrisy, that does not allow the potentially guilty party to sideline (via labelling) those voicing a concern. In other words, those seeing the State encroaching on the life of the church are just as entitled to resist as those seeing the church encroaching on the life of the State. Or to say it differently: the establishment clause is a two way street; if there is to be a separation of church and state, there is to be a separation of state and church.

Last but not least: One apology, multiple recipients
For whatever reason, my Safari ‘Top Sites’ page has been acting up and teasing me with false promises. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, ‘Top Sites’ is nothing more than a fancy way of accessing favourite websites (or, it’s a nerdier version of bookmarks). For those of you visually oriented, it looks like this:

Whenever new content emerges on any of these blogs (with the exception of the last two; they ain’t blogs), the top right corner of the individual image bears an unmistakably blue background, accented with a generic white star. Ordinarily, if I select a page containing new information, the indicator goes away once I return to the ‘Top Sites’ page. Lately, however, that’s hasn’t been the case: I’ll see the alert either later in the day or the following day (sometimes a few days later), rush to the site, but alas it winds up being the same post from my last visit.

So, to Jim, the folks at Koinonia, Nick, Ken, Dr Huxford, Dr Weatherly, Matthew, Jason, Scott, Ben (and Kim on occasion), Kevin, Chris, Pitre-Barber-Bergsma, George, Mark, the XKV8R himself, Jake, Matt, Micah, the team at Dunelm Road, Dr Shields, and Joel: my apologies for incessantly visiting your respective sites on the occasions when there is nothing new to see. However, I will not apologise for following your respective blogs; I love every one of them and enjoy reading what each of you has to say.

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