Tuesday, August 28, 2012

brick-a-brack 280812: Footprints Edition

  • Many of you will have seen truncated versions of these cartoons floating around facebook, well Xenos brings you the full versions so that you do not miss out, and because you were too lazy to search chainsawsuit.com for them yourself!

footprints in the sand, part 1

  • Also Carl Trueman accurately critiques those belligerent complementarians over at the GC, (and he is a complementarian). (HT Marc)

footprints in the sand, part 2

  • Check out David Instone Brewer's visual sermon resource, this is a very generous sharing of his labours, as anyone who has done it knows, good pictures are the most time consuming things to find for sermons. (HT Tim)
footprints in the sand, part 3

  • NZ Baptist Research and Historical Society have started a recordings page of talks from their dinners, Brain Smith gives a very helpful introduction to Baptist Ecclesiology inpsired by McClendon and Hauerwas. 
  • And finally for those who  enjoy making arguments from silence, try this one for size, although as a Toyota driver I find it very offensive:


Friday, August 24, 2012


Rabo Karabekian, a character in Kurt Vonnegut's book, Bluebeard, reflects on the modern dilemma of the "moderately gifted." I thought you might find this interesting if you too are occasionally accused of being an exhibitionist.
 I was obviously born to draw better than most people . . . Other people are obviously born to sing and dance or explain the stars in the night sky or do magic tricks or be great leaders or athletes, and so on.

I think that could go back to a time when people had to live in small groups of relatives - maybe fifty or a hundred people at the most. And evolution or god or whatever arranged things genetically, to keep the little families going, to cheer them up, so that they could all have somebody to tell stories around the campfire at night, and somebody else to paint pictures on the walls of the caves, and somebody who wasn't afraid of anything and so on.

That's what I think. And of course a scheme like that doesn't make sense anymore, because simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and the radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with the world's champions.

The entire planet can get along nicely now with maybe a dozen champion performers in each area of human giftedness. A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tap-dances on the coffee table . . .  We have a name for him or her. We call him or her an "exhibitionist."

Of course the situation Karabekian describes is made more complicated these days by social media, like facebook, youtube and dare i say it . . . blogs.

Let me know what you think  :-)

God Doesn't Exist

No really he doesn't. At least not by my definition of exist. Think of it this way. To exist is to stand (sistere) out from something (ex).* Existence is only possible within a relationship to something greater. All things that exist do so within a field of being that is larger than themselves. So the corn exists within the field, the field exists within the country, the country exists within the planet, which exists within the galaxy, etc, until we arrive at the expanding field of time and space that is our universe beyond the edge of which is what? A multiverse, other dimensions? And what do they exist in?  Nothing that can be said to exist can be thought of as existing without relating it to something greater than it.

Corn, in a field
Now there is no reason why there shouldn't be an infinite of dimensions or even a circular chain of existence, but this would not be a Christian cosmology. For in Christian cosmology it is God (in whom we live and move and have our being - Acts 17:28) in relationship to whom everything else exists. Which is why I have a great deal of sympathy with the minority panentheism view (all-in-God-ism) where the universe is understood to be inside God. After all it is only out of God's being that anything at all exists so if we are not inside God it is hard to imagine where we could be.

God doesn't exist, in that there is nothing in which God has God's being other God's-self. The universe and all that is in it exists only in that it is distinguishable from God and yet stands in relationship to God. God, whose name is revealed as YHWH (I am what I am, I will be what I will be) does not exist but simply IS. There is no other thing or person of which this can be said.

Let me know what you think :-)

*C.T. Oden, Classic Christianity, p35

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Legal Philosophy

Legal Philosophy

Congratulations to my old friend and one-time musical co-conspirator Stephen Riley, Senior Lecturer of Law at University of Sheffield on the publication of his book, Legal Philosophy.

You can buy from the publisher, amazon, and the book depository.

From the publisher,
Legal Philosophy,offers an accessible introduction to the most important themes shared by law and philosophy. It examines the key concepts that characterise what law tries, or ought to try to do, providing analysis of what leading thinkers and theorists from varying, often conflicting, schools of thought have contributed to our understanding of them. It examines concepts central to law, such as “person,” “good,” “right,” “rules,” and “justice” and, by taking this approach, aims to develop your students’ skills around questioning and reasoning.

Stephen Riley
Be sure to check it out if that sort of thing would tickle your fancy.

Nice one Steve! :-)