25 September 2010

September snippets

  • Those of us who grew up with the biblical account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea never thought it the least fantastic or implausible. Now someone has come up with a fascinating model of what may have happened: Parting the waters: Computer modeling applies physics to Red Sea escape route.

  • My young colleague and protégé, Rob Joustra, has written a review of Jordan Ballor's Ecumenical Babel that, in my opinion, hits the right note: The Ecumenical Social Justice Ship: Full Steam Ahead or Teetering Titanic? Here's Joustra:
    The [institutional] church is not just another activist NGO for socially-minded Millennials. True: It does mission. It has a concern for justice, absolutely. But the church is not a think tank, a policy shop, or a political party. Where critical advocacy should be done, Christian citizens are called together for the common good to present their arguments in the public square—not as denominational representatives, but as Christian citizens formed in the liturgies and practices of the church. . . .

    This does not mean that churches have no place in the political process. They can be critical institutions that provide a principled ballast in the fast and easy world of politics. And policy prescription is certainly not outside Christian competence! Christians, as citizens, should and must be doing the range of economic and political work.

  • Speaking of the Titanic, this story will interest aficionados of the ocean liner, which sank on its maiden voyage 98 years ago: Titanic sunk by steering mistake, author says. Could be. I'll leave it up to the experts in nautical matters to judge this one.

  • The Center for Public Justice, which some of us are coming to think of as the American counterpart to Canada's Cardus, is publishing a series of Capital Commentaries on pluralism. Earlier in the month Ashley Woodiwiss published The Problem With Pluralism, in which he advocated a "Christian agonism" as a more realistic alternative to pluralism. One week later yours truly responded with Pluralism in the plural. Joel Hunter has made the most recent contribution: Radical Responsibility for the Presence of Justice. The entire series can be found here. Watch for future instalments.
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