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What I Read Online – 03/22/2013 (a.m.)

22 Mar
    • EQ is the emotional equivalent of IQ. Sometimes called “emotional intelligence” or “social intelligence,” and the lack of it is the primary reason for the majority of pastoral failures.

       

      That’s right, the main reason for rookie pastors getting fired or, even worse, rookie pastors destroying a church, is not intellectual, moral, or theological failure, but failure in basic common-sense humanity.

    • If they learned a few social graces in addition and were able to remember to express grati­tude to people for every kind action no matter how small, they would be making major progress toward becoming the type of re­spectable person the Bible demands for the position of pastor. The person who basks in his crudeness and considers it a necessary part of his “macho” image probably should seek another vocation besides the pastorate.
    • I have to admit, though, every time a young man has told me that he’s called to the ministry and I’ve recommended that he go away and work for five years before Seminary, not one has taken my advice. Thus far, the results speak for themselves.
    • Buy Now at TraditionOfSports.com

       

      In Bloomington in 1900, seven young athletes came together to represent Indiana University in a game of basketball. Over 100 years later, this one of a kind tradition has yielded 5 NCAA championships,20 Big10 titles and 8 Final Four appearances. Yet beyond the victories, Hoosier basketball has forged a global bond among students, alumni, faculty and fans that simply cannot be broken. From the first glass backboards in 1917, to the last undefeated NCAA men’s basketball champion in 1976, the Hoosiers carry forth a tradition that is unsurpassed in collegiate sports.

       

      Now you can relive the rich history of this historic basketball program in Hoosier Rising, the definitive documentary on the past and present of Indiana University Men’s Basketball. Count down the top teams and players of all time with an elite panel of IU experts. Bask in the resurgence of this national contending team. The cream and crimson flows here in a dramatic and inspiring fashion that will make us all stand up and declare ourselves Hoosiers.

       

      Go behind the scenes with footage and interviews with people closest to Indiana University Men’s Basketball – and live what Hoosier Nation is all about!

    • To those of you who would change the church to accept the gay community and its lifestyle: you give us no hope at all. To those of us who know God’s word and will not dilute it to fit our desires, we ask you to read John’s letter to the church in Pergamum. “I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore!” You are willing to compromise the word of God to be politically correct. We are not deceived. If we accept your willingness to compromise, then we must also compromise. We must therefore accept your lying, your adultery, your lust, your idolatry, your addictions, YOUR sins. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
    • I am convinced that good preaching depends on at least two things. First, a good grasp of the technical skills necessary: ability to handle the biblical text, to communicate well and to speak with conviction on things that count. But it also depends upon a second, equally important but often neglected point: the need to understand preaching as a theological act. Only when this is done, when the preacher accurately understands what he is doing will he really do so well and with the confidence necessary.  

      And what better way to reflect upon preaching in Protestant context than to spend a few moments thinking about how Luther, the founder of the Protestant preaching feast, understood preaching as a theological act?

    • At the workshop the philosophers and scientists each added his own gloss to neo-Darwinian reductive naturalism or materialistic neo-Darwinian reductionism or naturalistic materialism or reductive determinism. They were unanimous in their solid certainty that materialism—as we’ll call it here, to limit the number of isms—is the all-purpose explanation for life as we know it. 
    • Daniel Dennett took a different view. While it is true that materialism tells us a human being is nothing more than a “moist robot”—a phrase Dennett took from a Dilbert comic—we run a risk when we let this cat, or robot, out of the bag. If we repeatedly tell folks that their sense of free will or belief in objective morality is essentially an illusion, such knowledge has the potential to undermine civilization itself, Dennett believes
    • “And then there’s some work that is neither cute nor clever,” he said. “And it’s by Tom Nagel.”

       

      There it was! Tom Nagel, whose Mind and Cosmos was already causing a derangement among philosophers in England and America. 

    • For all this and more, Thomas Nagel is a prominent and heretofore respected member of the country’s intellectual elite. And such men are not supposed to write books with subtitles like the one he tacked onto Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.
    • But what about fans of apostasy? You don’t have to be a biblical fundamentalist or a young-earth creationist or an intelligent design enthusiast—I’m none of the above, for what it’s worth—to find Mind and Cosmos exhilarating. “For a long time I have found the materialist account of how we and our fellow organisms came to exist hard to believe,” Nagel writes. “It is prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents together with the mechanism of natural selection.” The prima facie impression, reinforced by common sense, should carry more weight than the clerisy gives it. “I would like to defend the untutored reaction of incredulity to the reductionist neo-Darwinian account of the origin and evolution of life.”  
    • (Along with jumped-up monkeys and moist robots and countless other much-too-cute phrases, the use of spooky stuff proves that our popular science writers have spent a lot of time watching Scooby-Doo.) Nagel doesn’t believe in spooky stuff.
    • Materialism, then, is fine as far as it goes. It just doesn’t go as far as materialists want it to. It is a premise of science, not a finding. Scientists do their work by assuming that every phenomenon can be reduced to a material, mechanistic cause and by excluding any possibility of nonmaterial explanations. And the materialist assumption works really, really well—in detecting and quantifying things that have a material or mechanistic explanation. Materialism has allowed us to predict and control what happens in nature with astonishing success. The jaw-dropping edifice of modern science, from space probes to nanosurgery, is the result. 
    • Here materialism bumps up against itself. Nagel insists that we know some things to exist even if materialism omits or ignores or is oblivious to them. Reductive materialism doesn’t account for the “brute facts” of existence—it doesn’t explain, for example, why the world exists at all, or how life arose from nonlife. Closer to home, it doesn’t plausibly explain the fundamental beliefs we rely on as we go about our everyday business: the truth of our subjective experience, our ability to reason, our capacity to recognize that some acts are virtuous and others aren’t. These failures, Nagel says, aren’t just temporary gaps in our knowledge, waiting to be filled in by new discoveries in science. On its own terms, materialism cannot account for brute facts. Brute facts are irreducible, and materialism, which operates by breaking things down to their physical components, stands useless before them. “There is little or no possibility,” he writes, “that these facts depend on nothing but the laws of physics.” 
    • You can sympathize with Leiter and Weisberg for fudging on materialism. As a philosophy of everything it is an undeniable drag. As a way of life it would be even worse. Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath. Say what you will about Leiter and Weisberg and the workshoppers in the Berkshires. From what I can tell, none of them is a psychopath. Not even close. 
    • You can sympathize with Leiter and Weisberg for fudging on materialism. As a philosophy of everything it is an undeniable drag. As a way of life it would be even worse. Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath. Say what you will about Leiter and Weisberg and the workshoppers in the Berkshires. From what I can tell, none of them is a psychopath. Not even close.
    • Papyrus P52, the St. John’s fragment. Measuring only 8.9 by 6 centimeters at its widest points (3.5 by 2.5 inches), this is just the smallest fragment of a long-lost codex. But why would 53 square centimeters of papyrus merit such a display and a position in this list of 25 objects?
    • The Christian faith is utterly and unapologetically dependent upon God’s revelation of himself.
    • Rylands Library Papyrus P52 is an important link between the Bible we read today and the Bible as it was first recorded nearly two thousand years ago. This little manuscript, the oldest of the thousands in existence, reminds us that the Bible as we know it today—a thousand pieces of finely-printed paper stitched between two covers—is not the way it has always been. It reminds us that the Bible was first written by hand, that it was painstakingly copied one character at a time, that Christians carried it with them wherever they went, and that all the while it was protected and preserved by the hand of God.
    • On ESVBible.org you’ll find a significantly updated design with improved navigation and added features. In addition to updating the coding structure of the site so it will scale with future development, we’ve added several exciting improvements to the interface.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 22/03/2013 in Current Issues

 

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