Podcast: On Plagiarism

Mere FidelityThis week’s Mere Fidelity conversation on the subject of plagiarism was occasioned by a recent company statement from Eerdmans on the subject of three of their commentaries. For the discussion we were joined by our good friend Justin Taylor, Senior Vice President at Crossway Books.

You can also follow the podcast on iTunes, or using this RSS feed. Listen to past episodes on Soundcloud and on this page on my blog.

*If you would like to support the production of the Mere Fidelity podcast, helping us to cover our monthly costs, please visit our Patreon page*

Posted in Ethics, In the News, Podcasts | Leave a comment

The Eternal Subordination of the Son Controversy: 5. The Need for Trinitarian Clarity (Part II)

1. The Debate So Far
2. Survey of Some Relevant Material
3. Subordination
4. The Need for Trinitarian Clarity (Part 1)

The fifth part of my series on the eternal subordination of the Son controversy has been published over on Reformation21.

This doctrine does not depend upon speculative arguments founded upon a few isolated proof texts, but upon reflection upon the broader shape of the revelation and acts of God in both the Old and New Testaments. It develops out of the conviction that God’s ad extra work and word in creation, providence, and redemption involves the divine persons inseparably acting, each according to their distinct mode of personal subsistence. Although the economy should not uncritically be read back into an account of the immanent Trinity, God as he exists in himself is revealed in the manner of his work in the world. This doctrine of the Trinity seeks to maintain both robust confidence in the revelation and profound humility before the mystery.

Perhaps the difference between the approach of many of the critics of eternal generation and that of the orthodox to the doctrine might be compared to the difference between treating the biblical text as if a flat representation on a wall and treating it as if a stained glass window through which an uncreated light pours. As we gaze upon the surface of the text, we come to encounter an awesome beauty that lies beyond it. While the doctrine of eternal generation is not straightforwardly represented in the text, it is arrestingly visible through it.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted in Bible, Church History, Controversies, Doctrine of God, Guest Post, Hermeneutics, NT, NT Theology, The Triune God, Theological | Leave a comment

The Politics of the Table

My latest Politics of Scripture post has just been published.

Jesus’ teaching involves, as Hays recognizes, a rehearsal for the manners of the inbreaking kingdom. Rather than currying favor with their rich neighbors and adopting the manners of their regional rulers, the people of God are to cultivate the etiquette of a different kingdom, behaving as prospective members of a different court. Jesus instructs his hearers to act against their apparent social interests, in the sure faith that God’s order will prevail over all others.

The table manners that Jesus called for involve the rejection of the sort of honor culture practiced in many first century Mediterranean societies. Instead of grasping for honor, Jesus’ followers should be characterized by humility and self-effacement. While seating arrangements and dinner invitations were means for social climbers to accrue honor and status in their society, Jesus challenges his disciples to reject the way of honor-seekers and, like their Master, to seek the praise of God over that of man. Abstaining from social jockeying in a society where so much depends upon one’s honor and status is a costly act of faith.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted in Bible, Culture, Ethics, Guest Post, Luke, NT, NT Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theological | 3 Comments

Transfiguration E-book

A while back I wrote a series of posts on the subject of the Transfiguration and the Christian reading of Scripture for Reformation21. Tony Reinke has very kindly formed the posts into an e-book, entitled Transfigured Hermeneutics, which the Reformed Resources site is offering as a free download.

Within the e-book, I sketch an approach to the reading of Scripture that takes its starting point in the event of the Transfiguration, arguing that this event has a greater significance in New Testament thought than is commonly appreciated.

Download a copy for yourself and pass it on!

If you are interested in reading any of my other past guest posts, they are all listed here.

UPDATE: You can also download the file here.

Posted in Bible, Guest Post, NT, NT Theology, Scripture, Theological | 7 Comments

Podcast: The Olympics and Sports

Mere FidelityOn this week’s Mere Fidelity, Matt, Derek, and I are joined by Michael Austin for a topical discussion of the Olympics and the place that sports have in our culture. We take the following quotation as a starting point for our conversation:

In their beliefs, Coubertin and his followers were liberals in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson and John Stuart Mill. Deeply suspicious of conventional theistic religions, they promoted Olympism as a substitute for traditional faith. “For me,” Coubertin wrote in his Mémoires Olympiques, “sport is a religion with church, dogma, ritual.” In a radio address delivered in Berlin on August 4, 1935, he repeated his frequently expressed desire that the games be inspired by “religious sentiment transformed and enlarged by the internationalism and democracy that distinguish the modern age.” Nearly thirty years later, Coubertin’s most dedicated disciple, Avery Brundage, proclaimed to his colleagues on the International Olympic Committee that Olympism is a twentieth-century religion, “a religion with universal appeal which incorporates all the basic values of other religions, a modern, exciting, virile, dynamic religion” (pp. 2-3).

You can also follow the podcast on iTunes, or using this RSS feed. Listen to past episodes on Soundcloud and on this page on my blog.

*If you would like to support the production of the Mere Fidelity podcast, helping us to cover our monthly costs, please visit our Patreon page*

Posted in Culture, Ethics, In the News, Podcasts, Society, Theological | 2 Comments

Brave New World, 85 Years Later

A piece of mine on the subject of Brave New World has just been published over on The Gospel Coalition website.

One striking detail of Huxley’s portrayal is that, while the World State is founded on mass production, the process of automation is suppressed, with humans doing jobs that could easily be given to machines or algorithms (Huxley doesn’t explore the possibility of quasi-intelligent machines). From a contemporary vantage point it may require a significant suspension of disbelief to imagine such an economy might be tamed to serve a larger social end, even a dystopian one. Huxley may have feared a Fordist ideology concocted and imposed by “World Controllers” within a command economy—not an unrealistic fear in the age of rising Communism and Fascism; we now seem to have much more reason to fear our subjection to the autonomous and insatiable logic of a runaway capitalist system beyond human design or control.

The World State is an intensively planned society, one that can be directly presented in propositions and is integrated by a unified human vision. Much of Brave New World consists of expositional dialogue, within which the human ideology undergirding the World State is explicitly articulated. However, the social developments that most powerfully shape our world no longer seem to be planned and definitely don’t present themselves to us directly. Rather, they’re more typically technological and societal dynamics we set in motion, whose long-term destination is unclear and whose incremental effects on us, though vast in the aggregate and in retrospect, are only perceived obliquely in the moment and the particular—when they’re perceived at all. Though we may be unwittingly conditioned, the conditioner is more likely a technology such as the Internet than a human intelligence.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted in Christian Experience, Culture, Ethics, Guest Post, My Reading, Reviews, Sex and Sexuality, Society | 1 Comment

Podcast: On Satire

Mere FidelityOn this week’s Mere Fidelity, Matt, Derek, and I are joined by our good friend Karen Swallow Prior for a discussion of the Christian use (and abuse) of satire. Both Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” and this analysis of ‘punching up’ in American comedy are mentioned in the course of the podcast, as is the Babylon Bee Christian satire site.

You can also follow the podcast on iTunes, or using this RSS feed. Listen to past episodes on Soundcloud and on this page on my blog.

*If you would like to support the production of the Mere Fidelity podcast, helping us to cover our monthly costs, please visit our Patreon page*

Posted in Controversies, Culture, Ethics, Podcasts, Theological | 1 Comment