Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The wrap

Quite a lot of things are calling for my attention lately. I've been working full-time the last 2 weeks on a very worthwhile work placement. I was in Bath yesterday - not for a holiday, mind you! - but because I needed to consult a work which was only available at their university's library. I did manage to get enough time off to go look at the Roman baths (slightly disappointed; I had these larger-than-life images of grandeur in my mind).

I'm mindful that I just can't keep up with everything, and attending to my 'reality', as it were, should probably take priority. As I continue working on my thesis, which I'm very behind on, and look for a job, it looks like blogging will be less frequent for the next month or two. So don't expect as many updates as usual. Here's a (long but possibly quite dated) wrap in the meantime!

The Gospel Coalition
The Gospel Coalition is an initiative to unite around the gospel. That's an overly simplistic summary, since which of us do not want that? Their Confessional Statement and especially their Theological vision is well worth a read, and I am in deep agreement with them. Dashhouse has brief commentary on what this means. I understand that there are some who will look at this with suspicion, wondering if it is too parochial or insular or just a "power" exercise, and I plead with them to be charitable and interpret the motives of those involved in the best possible light. This, I think, is an attempt to be what John Stott calls "radically conservative", and to practise "double listening" - the Bible in one hand, the newspaper (i.e the surrounding culture) in the other. I haven't had the time to listen to any of the talks, but I hope to one day.

Time for some critical self-examination. John Richardson looks at the unhealthy state of English conservative evangelicalism. It'd probably only be interesting for those wanting to see how the British scene is doing, but I thought I'll link it anyway. There is a follow-up on the wisdom of knowing when to keep silence.

Are we creating a Reformed celebrity culture?, asks Timmy Brister. Yes, if we're too proud to think we're not subject to the same sinful tendencies to elevate men above God as everyone else.

There's also a very good post on the non-primacy of the imagination in much Christian thinking today. I'm lucky that I have had much contact with those who were influenced by the neo-Calvinists, such as Os Guinness and contributors to The Christian imagination, as well as having been exposed to redemptive-historical preaching. For those of you who are stirred by the claim in the article that worldview as a set of propositions is inadequate, then errr...expand your worldview by reading James Sire's Naming the Elephant! :-p

9 Marks is a ministry devoted to thinking through what it means to be church, and their July/August ejournal is really good. Click here if you want to read it in PDF. I thought Greg Gilbert on Brian McLaren was especially good.

Tim Chester has been blogging a few mini-series on marriage, singleness, sex and beauty. They're short and very good. I have now used the word "good" too many times.

Dan Kimball on whether some Christians want to be "hated". His main point is that while it is true that the message of the cross offends, sometimes it's really us who offend, and we confuse that with "standing for the truth".

Michael Pahl on a big question - what is the gospel?. Shamefully, I didn't do much more than scan this, need to go back and have a read.

2 features from Christianity Today: Desire happens and Holy to the Core.

Onto Malaysians and their thoughts. Insightful post on Sunday School and the Kingdom of God.

pearlie gates is a blog I've discovered and very much enjoy.

Great post on the grounding of Christianity in history. On his point on truth, I would frame it differently - I would say we worship a covenant God who acts in history, and based on his past acts and his perfect keeping of his promises, that provides a framework for truth to both trust in and live out.

The Al-Jazeera feature on apostasy in Malaysia. I saw this one late, but if you haven't seen it, worth a look.

Those of you in Malaysia would probably have read about Nathaniel Tan. I only began perusing his blog a month ago, and was late to hearing about his arrest. (Like I said, I can't keep up! :-> ) Again, he is likely to be an insightful blog on the public square of Malaysia. Here's the publicity info for the DAP forum on the matter.

Great profile of Tim Duncan, the non-superstar of superstars.

Where does Man Utd's last title win rank among their triumphs?

Ratatouille has been garnering lots of positive reviews, but it only comes out in the UK in October!

The tourist map of literature! I foresee using this a lot.

Oh, and an interview with Ngozi Adiche, winner of this year's Orange Prize. She helps us see a little of what it's like to be an African.

Enough for the week, at the very least!

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