Wednesday, December 21, 2005

About the "emerging" or "emergent" church

One of my daily reads is the weblog run by World Magazine, and one of my favorite "sub-web-logs" is that run by Anthony Bradley. He's a fellow of the Acton Institute, and champions the cause of the "emerging" or "emergent" church, churches specifically catering to young people afflicted (my word) with postmodernism.

(N.B.; Anthony sometimes uses and allows language and links which would seem out of place in a typical fundamental church. He also gets posters--Anthony is African-American--from time to time who say things that prove that racism is sadly alive and well in America and abroad.)

He's got a lot to say if the N.B. doesn't bother you, IMO. Especially good are many of his critiques of modern churches, which generally follow the lines of "we're not getting down to the business of loving our brothers."

One interesting thing, however, with his site is that there is an implicit assumption that the difficulties of young people are completely different than those who went before them. Somehow I don't think that's true. We face the "new" difficulty of Internet pornography today--but does that really differ so much from what Paul faced in Corinth? We see postmodern "thinking"--but is that so much different from Pilate asking "what is truth?"

Ecclesiastes is right; there is really nothing new under the sun.

Monday, December 19, 2005

An interesting question

It is Christmastime, and we are at church, of course, going through the Christmas story once again. Praise God for the Incarnation!

One question that interests me now is that of Joseph. Look at Matthew 1; Joseph is spoken of as just because he did not want to shame Mary publicly. So far, so good; Joseph was a merciful man.

On the other hand, to those who lived near her, Mary was an espoused woman with a child not by Joseph, and the Torah (Law of Moses) prescribes death by stoning for those caught in adultery--though it is also apparent that this was not often practiced.

So the Biblical description puts us in a tense spot. Joseph is spoken of as just while apparently ignoring the Torah.

Or does it? Does perhaps Joseph's righteousness separate from the Law speak to, well, righteousness separate from the Law?

Halleluiah and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Who is taking part.... the "Great Conversation" that Mortimer Adler spoke of? Who is buying new, or used, copies of his "Great Books" series? Who is learning about the history of western civilization, the theory of learning, and so on?

I'd like to introduce a perhaps startling answer; the same "religious conservatives" so regularly mocked by the likes of the New York Times and other elites. Admittedly, my experience is limited, but all too often I see Maureen Dowd (and like-minded people) using ad hominem attacks while my favorite seminary president (OK, the only seminary president I know) expounds upon the Trivium.

With God's blessing, we may soon have a change of elites, and a redefinition of elite institutions.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

On Modesty

One of the things which animates me from time to time is the desire to avoid making things excessively complex. Given a 25 page, comprehensive document and a one page summary, I'll take the summary every time--striving to make sure that the summary actually contains all of the information of the comprehensive document.

Distressingly often, the summary does contain as much information as the comprehensive document. Strunk & White, anyone?

But on to modesty. I've received rather comprehensive checklists, generally written for women, on how to achieve modesty. As commendable as I think this is, I must wonder whether it needs to be som complex as it sometimes becomes. To this effect, I offer my own list of rules, applicable to both men and women.

1. Pants, skirts, shirts, and blouses generally ought to come together (and be tucked in) at the waist, not low on the hips. Any good men's clothing salesman will tell you this.

2. Garments that are see-through, fit tightly, or offer otherwise a glimpse at the torso or upper thighs are called "undergarments," and should be covered with outer garments. Some exceptions, of course, for swimsuits or gymnastic outfits.

3. Care ought to be taken that patterns on clothes, as well as jewelry, do not draw attention to the bosom or the groin.

And that's it. Perhaps some need a more comprehensive list, but maybe we simply need to....keep things simple.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Are you as loving???? a Confederate general? Today, the Washington Times documented that one of the major activities of Stonewall Jackson was to start a school for poor blacks.

In violation of Virginia state law, no less. I suggest we all might do well to show our love for brother as did General Jackson.