Open Mic Thread 27

Mic

The open mic thread is where you have the floor and can raise or discuss issues of your choice. There is no such thing as off-topic here. The comments of this thread are free for you to:

  • Discuss things that you have been reading/listening to/watching recently
  • Share interesting links
  • Share stimulating discussions in comment threads
  • Ask questions
  • Put forward a position for more general discussion
  • Tell us about yourself and your interests
  • Publicize your blog, book, conference, etc.
  • Draw our intention to worthy thinkers, charities, ministries, books, and events
  • Post reviews
  • Suggest topics for future posts
  • Use as a bulletin board
  • Etc.

Over to you!

Earlier open mic threads: 123456, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19,20,2122,23, 24, 25, 26.

Posted in Open Mic | 96 Comments

Sexual Difference, Liberal and Christian

The Theopolis Institute has just published an article of mine on the subject of sexual difference:

[I]n creating us male and female, God established an otherness whose specific form is given great significance. In our thinking about otherness, the form of otherness has often fallen by the wayside. ‘Difference’ is typically understood to be negative in its meaning—referring merely to the fact that we are not the same. What if we were to start thinking of difference as positive in its meaning, understanding it as naming the particular manner in which two entities are distinguished from each other within their relation?

If we were to do this I believe that a more ‘musical’ account of otherness would emerge. Sexuality exposes us to a world of musical difference, where, as we open ourselves up to otherness, we are caught up within the beauty and delight of a larger cosmic symphony (difference in relation is also characteristic of symbolism). As with musical notes the power and meaning of difference is located within relations, relations through which we belong to something greater than ourselves and which puncture our autonomy and detachment.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted in Culture, Ethics, Sex and Sexuality, Society, Theological | 5 Comments

Podcast: Beyond the Abortion Wars

Mere FidelityThe latest episode of Mere Fidelity has just gone online. This week we discuss abortion with Charles Camosy, associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University, and the author of the recent book, Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward For A New Generation.

You can also follow the podcast on iTunes, or using this RSS feed.

Last week, I mentioned that we are seeking to raise money to buy new microphones, to improve the sound quality of our podcasts. The response to that appeal has been overwhelming. We have very nearly reached our target of $1,000. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated! If you haven’t already done so and would like to support our podcasts, please consider donating a small amount to this fund.

Posted in Controversies, Culture, Ethics, Podcasts, Politics, Theological | 14 Comments

The Politics of the King’s Shepherd

Although the 23rd Psalm might be the most familiar of all, I believe that there are dimensions of its meaning that often go unnoticed. Over on Political Theology Today, I suggest that there is a political aspect to the message of the psalm that might have striking implications for contemporary societies.

And here we encounter another dimension of the psalm that is often neglected: this is a psalm attributed to the anointed leader of YHWH’s people. While we are (rightly) accustomed to singing or praying this psalm as a private expression of God’s goodness and our trust in him as individuals, there is a political dimension to it that should not be missed. The psalmist to whom the psalm is attributed is not a private individual, but the representative of his people, blessed with a kingdom by YHWH, yet assaulted by enemy forces seeking his destruction.

2 Chronicles 7:6 refers to David giving praise by the hand of the Levites, singing, as it were, the ‘King’s Song’.[5] In the Old Testament, the ruler of the people often led the nation in its worship on important occasions. In psalms associated with the king, the people are invited to join in the worship of the representative in whom they are summed up, to locate themselves within the life of their leader, and to find his experience resonating with their own.

The fact that the king, himself regarded as the shepherd of his people, would look to YHWH in his fraught military and political situation as a weak sheep looks to its shepherd is a striking image of dependency. Comparing this with our own political leaders, who typically project a public image of confident assurance in their own sufficiency before the struggles and dangers facing our nations, the contrast is noteworthy.

Read the whole post here.

Posted in Bible, Christian Experience, Guest Post, OT, Politics, Psalms, Theological | 2 Comments

Davenant Latin Institute

I have mentioned the great work of my friends at the Davenant Trust on my blog before. They have recently started a new venture that I am very excited to tell you all about. The Davenant Latin Institute has been set up to prepare students and teachers with the language skills to access the vast treasury of theological literature—particularly Reformation and post-Reformation literature—that exists in Latin. In addition to the ability to explore works familiar to us in translation in their original language, a great many works remain untranslated, only accessible to those with competency in theological Latin. Training a new generation of Protestant theologians in Latin will hopefully serve to inspire a return to our often neglected theological sources.

The program involves online courses at introductory and advanced levels, designed to equip any student who wishes to learn to read theological Latin with basic reading competency or, for the more advanced courses, with more developed skills. The institute is highly recommended by both Professor Torrance Kirby and Fred Sanders. Of the teachers of the program, I have been privileged to know Brad Littlejohn and Peter Escalante for a number of years. Both are gifted and generous scholars and, in addition to learning much from both of them, I have been deeply blessed by their friendship.

The deadlines for enrolment are June 5, 2015 for the Summer Intensive course and July 24, 2015 for the year-long courses. Places are limited.

Find out more here.

Posted in Church History, On the web | Leave a comment

Podcast: Christendom and the Privilege of the Church


Mere FidelityThe latest Mere Fidelity podcast has just gone online. This week Derek Rishmawy, Matt Lee Anderson, Andrew Wilson, and I discuss the question of whether the Church should enjoy cultural and political privilege. Take a listen and share your thoughts in the comments.

You can also follow the podcast on iTunes, or using this RSS feed.

We are also seeking to raise money to buy new microphones, to improve the sound quality of our podcasts. If you have appreciated our podcasts, please consider donating a small amount to this fund.

Posted in Culture, Podcasts, Politics, Society, The Church, Theological | 23 Comments

Understanding Nature

In the latest discussion over on Passing the Salt Shaker, I attempt to provide a brief introduction to the notion of nature as it functions within natural law thinking:

As human beings, we are person-bodies embedded in a larger natural world and moral order in which we participate. We have both forces at work within us that are greater than us and natural orientations towards expression of, participation in, and realization of realities that exceed ourselves. The natural order beckons to us from both within and without. Living according to natural law is more of an art than a matter of speculative science. It involves deepening our acquaintance with and honing the directivity of the natural order that is already incipient within and operative upon us, through the feedback loop of participation in and reception of a natural reality that exceeds us.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted in Creation, Ethics, Passing the Salt Shaker, Philosophy, Sex and Sexuality, Theological | 15 Comments