Tasty Sampler 6/17

1. Calling mere cohabitation what it really is, and bringing back the word concubine.

In the past 40 years, it seems, concubinage has come to light again under a different name. Like ancient concubinage, contemporary cohabitation is a deliberately ambiguous relationship. The partners make no promises and have no legal obligations to one another.

2. Divine or God-directed Evolution? This posits that the church at large will eventually accept some form of evolution, and most already have, and that this is a good thing. The author compares it to birth control and flat earth beliefs, but that’s like comparing the roots of one tree to a single branch of another.  This ignores the inherent culture of death that is permeated when evolution is the overarching foundation story of a culture. There is a reason why this doctrine has been a bloody battleground.  The formal acceptance by the church at large would be a travesty.

What this says to me is that in another generation or two this issue of evolution will become an non-issue to American evangelicals. It is already a non-issue to Catholic believers and Protestants outside of America. Current controversies often disappear in time.

3. Hugh Hefner will die alone.

Hugh Hefner is a perverted old man who used his position and power within the industry of pornography to secure sexual conquests. At present, he’s at the end of his life. Those people at his parties aren’t his friends. Those women around him keeping the king warm in the cold of his twilight could care less. They’re only there because of his money and power.

4. Tips for writers of detective fiction. 24 fun and interesting facts about reality from someone with actual experience.

When a bullet from a Colt’s .45, or any firearm of approximately the same size and power, hits you, even if not in a fatal spot, it usually knocks you over. It is quite upsetting at any reasonable range.

5. Book expert from A Meal with Jesus. Tim Challies adds some of his own thoughts at the end about hospitality.

One of the wisest things Aileen and I did when we first got married was ensure that we had no television in the house. One of the most foolish things we did was introduce one as soon as she got pregnant. More foolish still was eating far too many meals in front of it.

6. Train wreck of math education. The key to a good understanding of math is to teach its history and its integration with other disciplines, and to not teach so much of it so fast.

Mathematics is, in a sense, a religious discipline.

But, then, most disciplines are.

 

Only the God of Shakespeare

The story of Congressman Weiner should remind us that there is a just God.  Only the one who created the mind of Shakespeare could script a story as ridiculous, sharp, funny, and deadly serious at the same time. I mean, this story was filled dialogue like “I can’t say with any certitude that the picture isn’t of me.”

What will He come up with next?

And Douglas Wilson highlights one of the fundamental lies of our current political climate, the separation of public/private.

He wants the voters to know that when it comes to this public sphere over here, he is a man of integrity, who would never knowingly violate a House rule, or an oath of office, whatever, but who, when it comes to the private sphere over there, and the private parts contained therein, he is a liar, skunk, and inept Twitterer.

Politics stinks.  Mainly because its full of skunks.

Tasty Sampler 6/3

1. Advice for Slow Readers. And no, it’s not “learn to read faster.”

For a few years now, I’ve used a reading plan that has helped me get through a pretty good number of books every month, despite my setback of being a slow reader. For the frustrated and overwhelmed readers, here are a few suggestions.

2. Ads can implant false memories.  Another reason not to watch too much TV.

It turns out that vivid commercials are incredibly good at tricking the hippocampus (a center of long-term memory in the brain) into believing that the scene we just watched on television actually happened. And it happened to us.

3. Moses Vs. Hyperpreterism. Michael Bull calls attention to the general outline of covenants in the Bible, and how it speaks against full blown hyperpreterism.

Every Covenant has an element of futurism because the Covenant process is how God directs history and moves it forward. Moses helps us to identify which part of Revelation is yet future. To claim otherwise is to ignore the structure of the entire Bible.

4. Poverty and the Delay of Gratification. This should be read and discussed around the dinner table. Valuable lessons from Eastern Kentucky.

The main difference between rich and poor is not birthplace, or education level, or the area of the country, or the quality of the schools. It’s not the local economy. The main difference between rich and poor is the ability to delay gratification in anticipation of greater rewards down the road.

 

Tasty Sampler 5/27

A blind man sees the world…with a click of his tongue. This is one of the most amazing articles I have ever read.

Kish has trained himself to hear these slight echoes and to interpret their meaning. Standing on his front stoop, he could visualize, with an extraordinary degree of precision, the two pine trees on his front lawn, the curb at the edge of his street, and finally, a bit too far from that curb, my rental car. Kish has given a name to what he does — he calls it “FlashSonar” — but it’s more commonly known by its scientific term, echolocation.

“Running into a pole is a drag, but never being allowed to run into a pole is a disaster,” he writes. “Pain is part of the price of freedom.” This attitude is not wildly popular, especially in a safety-first nation like the United States.

16 tips for beginning homeschoolers. Some are more attacking myths than actual tips, but a good read.

Ultimately, your role will be as a facilitator to your child’s learning.  There’s no need to lecture, and very often you’ll find yourself learning something new right alongside your child.

4 Myths About World War 2. Most focus on the bad light generally cast on the French.

No army in the world at that time could have withstood Germany’s blitzkrieg, planned by the brilliant Erich von Manstein, and led by the audacious Heinz Guderian, and Erwin Rommel –three of modern history’s greatest generals.

Understand by listening closely. A good article on how to establish trust in sales, and to brush up on your social skills in general.

As we got off the plane, Ann stopped me in the gangway, shook my hand and said, “Gill, you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever had the pleasure to ride with on an airplane. It was great getting to know you” – and I had hardly told her a thing about me!

The Danger of “Fruitfulness” without Purity. Scandals of hypocrisy harm the gospel witness, and should be cut at the root with confession and prayer.

Winning or losing the heart battles over confession, repentance, and humility is the difference between those who end well and those who do not. Why hypocrisy often wins the day is, I believe, because leaders learn the possibility of being “fruitful” without being pure. There is, in some sense, the ability to maintain professional administration of ministry and even to see “fruitfulness” in such activities. This, in turn, can deceive one into thinking that confession of heart struggles and personal sins are in some sense unnecessary and mere distractions to ministerial progress.

Tasty Sampler 5/20

When Christians Would Be Utterly Insane, an expert from John Piper’s prayer:

It occurs to me to say, Father, that we Christians would be utterly insane to envy people who pitch themselves out of the window of sin—on top of a skyscraper—to enjoy a vapor’s exhilaration of the freefall of greed, or the freefall of drugs, or power, or fame, or sex, or job success—and then death. We would just be insane to envy the world.

A little parable from the Royal Wedding and the new bride:

As those bullies watched this moment they would realise that now, because of her Prince, she’s royalty.

The guy who says he only uses his iPhone in church to read the Bible:

What’s that you say? Am I checking my email, right here in the middle of church? Sir, I am insulted you would even ask that. How dare you!

The Amish have an intentional logic that governs their uses of technology:

By not owning vehicles, the Amish fulfill numerous dimensions of Gelassenheit. They maintain humility by not being caught up in the status-seeking of what kind of car they drive. They maintain the interdependence of a close community and resist the independence afforded by automatic mobility. They retain the human scale of living instead of the automotive scale. Thus, they have walkable communities instead of driveable suburbs.

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs speaks to the Senate about the denigration of skilled workers in our society:

In high schools, the vocational arts have all but vanished. We’ve elevated the importance of “higher education” to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labeled “alternative.” Millions of parents and kids see apprenticeships and on-the-job-training opportunities as “vocational consolation prizes,” best suited for those not cut out for a four-year degree. And still, we talk about millions of “shovel ready” jobs for a society that doesn’t encourage people to pick up a shovel.

During a scathing review of The End of Sexuality, Dr. Peter Jones dedicates a large section to the religious and cultural implications of homosexuality:

Homosexuality is not limited here to morals or the lack thereof. It is employed as the attempt to define the very nature of the cosmos as inherently divine. It is for this reason that the Old Testament denounces homosexuality in such strong terms, since it is a sign of pagan religion.