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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 

Links: In Other News

In other news on culture, evangelicals, politics, theology, movies, and other news...

Slate: Not All Its Cracked Up to Be
David Sessions, a self-described politically interested evangelical from Patrick Henry College, writes on evangelical presence in politics, a united front in the primaries, and whether the evangelical impetus is waning.
(HT: Cranach)

WSJ Articles for Free Online

In other written media news, the WSJ is offering material free online. With the help of social networking client digg, formerly reserved articles are now available to the public.
(HT: Lifehacker)

Olasky Manifesto, Gay Marriage & State Sovereignty
In other Cranach news, there is a post pointing out a section of the recent Olasky manifesto, specific to same-sex unions. There is some helpful discussion (I recommend reading into the comments) regarding the roles of state and family.

Americanitis: Wilson on Hart
In other news on culture, these are some of the posts Doug Wilson has posted in reading through D.G. Hart's A Secular Faith.

Transforming Culture with a Messiah Complex
(In other theology news...) Everyone's already linked to it, but this article by Dr. Michael Horton is so helpful, I think. Not only dealing with culture and the church, but also read it for fine theology on the ascension and eschatology.

Out of Ur: Willow Creek Repents
In other church news, awhile ago Bill Hybels "repented" and "had the wake up call of his adult life." A church poll of Willow Creek reported that while the church was meeting the needs of those new to the faith ("kicking the tires of Christianity," as my pastor likes to say), older Christians were not being fed.

While I'm glad that Willow Creed is recognizing that they need a more biblical program in place, is this not the same old methodology? Willow Creek is, it seems, still being "seeker sensitive," its just that for once, the felt needs of the demographic really are the needs that need to be met. But what happens when this group tires of biblical teaching? Is it on to whatever they ask for next? My prayer is that during this season when they ratchet up their bible teaching, they'll realize whole new paradigms - biblical ones - for doing church. Perhaps something along the lines of gospel, water, bread & wine, and applying these in discipleship/discipline.

The Logical Fall Out of the 7 Deadly Sins
When theology and geometry meet, watch out. I think this just proves that total depravity extends even to the laws of mathematics.

His Dark Materials vs. Christianity

Philip Pullman's trilogy is about to gain a wider audience when the first episode, The Golden Compass, hits the silver screen this winter. An important part of Pullman's project is to undermine the Christian world-and-life-view by offering a new mythology. Hanna Rosin in the latest issue of the Atlantic:
In the books, Lyra is the new Eve, but an Eve who brings humanity to its full realization by eating the fruit. The climax of the trilogy comes when Lyra, the 12-year-old heroine, shares a red fruit with her friend Will. They kiss and Pullman draws a discrete curtain over the rest: "Around them there was nothing but silence, as if all the world were holding its breath" is as explicit as he gets.

Pullman told Rosin that this Eden-reversal scene is crucial to his effort to unravel Christian mythology: "They become aware of sexuality, of the power the body has to attract attention from someone else. This is not only natural, but a wonderful thing! To be celebrated! Why the Christian Church has spent 2,000 years condemning this glorious moment, well, that's a mystery. I want to confront that, I suppose, by telling a story that this so-called original sin is anything but. It's the thing that makes us fully human."
No doubt Dr. Peter Jones would have a field day with this, but the ironies abound. Pullman, like so much of the hedonism characterizing the current culture, is vainly struggling to realize human sexuality. In the Christian "mythos," however, Adam and Eve are created naked, are told to fruitfully procreate - i.e., they are given divine fiat to engage in sexual intercourse - and all of this nudity and sex is "very good" in the eyes of God. Contra Pullman, humanity doesn't become aware of sexuality at the Fall, rather their once beautiful nudity becomes shame to them. Where Pullman wants his prototypical Adam and Eve to attract attention with their bodies, our first parents were created to serve one another and, ultimately, their Overlord, Elohim. Pullman, like all of us sinners, would sooner get what he wanted if he would quit kicking against the goads and find his hopes already graciously promised and answered in biblical witness to Jesus Christ, who has come to restore and redeem all the problems already in this world, problems created by visions of humanity and reality like that of Pullman's.

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I recently read Neuhaus' thoughts on the supposed Evangelical crackup. You can read them here:

He's always fun to read, even (or especially?) if you disagree with him most of the time.

Thanks for sharing that. It was fun reading it. :-)

That was a VERY interesting one! Seriously interesting.

Thank you, that was just an awesome post!!!

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Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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