I’m on break from school and have done a lot of web-surfing. Good stuff this month so far, and many are worth sharing:
From the BBC –
“A Point of View: Churchill and the birth of the special relationship” on the Churchill’s stance on the relationship between Britain and the US.
Also found a significant article on the Chinese economy and need for reform China is one of the most influential nations in the world right now, so an economic reform there would surely affect the world.
“Encylopedia Brittanica ends its famous print edition.” Thus ends a 244 year era of those precious volumes of knowledge. This made me sad. No more pulling out random volumes and flipping through pages to peruse any article that catches your fancy. They continue their digital version and online prospects… but it’s not the same! 😦
LED bulbs: The end of the lightbulb as we know it? LED is being demonstrated as a much better lighting option. It looks like Edison’s 150-year old invention is going the way of the dinosaurs. End of an era! This makes me sad too… Am I too sentimental?
Other News and Views
From The Economist, The rise of evangelicalism is shaking up the Church of England. The article implies that this new fervor is influenced by America, which may be true, but it ignores that this is really the fruit of British Evangelical intellectuals like the late John Stott and Lesslie Newbigin.
Nice piece from CNN, Saudi Women: Pampered or oppressed?Do the restrictive laws on women painfully violate their rights or does it pamper them and make “men the slaves of women”? This article challenged my prior opinion a bit, and shows there are varied viewpoints even among women… Oh, and sorry, can’t help but link to singer M.I.A.’s strong opinion on the issue in her song, “Bad Girls.”
“Eyewitness India” from World Magazine. An upstart news agency is giving the people, even some of the rural poor, the power of journalism.
Seth Godwin youtube video, says, “Be curious!”
From the Christian blogosphere:
Tim Nichols at Full Contact Christianity has an excellent series on the necessity of the ordination of women, part 1, part 2, and part 3 Some will say he goes too far; others, not far enough. But it’s exegetical and made me think.
“Some Preach from Envy and Rivalry” by Nick Bogardus. Very pertinent points in light of the severe problem of sharp polarization in Christianity right now.
Jim McNeely “The Life of Jacob According to Grace” The last few paragraphs really took me. Grace is a powerful thing.
An article on the fact that the atheist gathering, “The Reason Rally”, invited Westboro Baptist Church to their conference (but not legitimate Christian groups). This is yet another example of my long list of disappointments with atheists today.
Parchment and Pen featured Paul Copan on “Longings and Needs as Reasons for Belief in God.” Despite its brevity, I haven’t read anything this good on longing/reason relationship to God’s existence since the hefty bio article on George John Romanes I read last year.
The White Horse Inn posted a thoughtful article by Brooke Mintun in honor of National Women’s Day analyzing Dorothy Sayers on men, women, and humanity. Yes, there is such a thing as National Women’s Day, and must have trended big this year since this is the first I’ve heard of it. Maybe that’s why so many of these links here are women-related.
Clay Jones, Why I Look Forward to Eternity is a fun read to end with.
I’ve been pensive lately. I write plenty of messy notes, but nothing blogworthy – mainly book-reviews. But, reflecting on 2011 I thought I’d include some of the top webpages and articles I just so happened to collect in 2011 that had a major influence on me or unusually good. Just sayin’ in advance, almost all of them are religious or philosophical… but hey, that’s what I read. There are more than this, but I didn’t think to favorite all of them. Anyway, here’s ten categories, somewhat in order of importance.
10) Top tens. Starting out recently is this article from Collin Hansen, top ten theological stories of the year. Christianity Today has their own top ten stories as well. As far as international news, AP’s Top Ten News Stories of 2011 is pretty comprehensive, though I’m baffled as to why the American pull-out of Iraq didn’t make the cut. Isn’t the end of a big, controversial 7-year war big news?
I would have added William Lane Craig/Richard Dawkin’s spectacle or the economic/environmental disasters that have caused more theological reflection in these top ten, but overall very good choices.
9) Future theology debate trends. It took me a while of thinking before I agreed with him, but Andrew Wilson’s article The Biggest Theological Debate of the Next Twenty Years is very insightful. What will it be? Read and see!
8) God to Jesus. This article by John Dickson, Jesus: God’s Tangible Sign, is so well-reasoned and well-written, especially on how rational it is to at least move from atheism to deism, then from there to theism, and on to Jesus.
7) All the boys and the girls… This has been an interesting year in public discussion of marriage, sex, and dating and all the current issues with that, especially on the Christian scene. A few good articles are
Christian Boy Meets Christian Girl from World Magazine – the best of the bunch, and hilarious.
I took interest in these, because I fit some of their criticized stereotypes of young men – not asking girls out, stubbornly single, wanting to “see the world” before being “tied down” in marriage, etc. I thought of bloggin in defense of this monkish lifestyle as mine, but haven’t gotten around to it! However, Vicky Beeching’s “Honest thoughts about singleness in the church” expresses some of my thoughts already. Nonetheless, excellent points and analysis are made by DeYoung, et al. and they’re worth the read.
6)Atheist surprises. Atheist Joel Marks in Confessions of an Ex-Moralist admits morality isn’t possible without God. He replaces it with something else like morality, but I was impressed by his candor. The well-known defender of evolution and naturalism, Michael Ruse wrote another fascinating reflection, On Going to Church Christmas Morning . In “Atheists Against Darwinism” Peter Williams surveys how the debate on Intellgient Design even has some atheists thinking. Evolution is not nearly the stalwart, established scientific theory it’s purported to be, and the exposure of its weaknesses by atheists is telling.
4)C. Michael Patton. Not one, not two, but three excellent articles from C. Michael Patton:
The ability of this guy to write great-quality articles is amazing, and I had a hard time just choosing three. Look around Parchment and Pen blog if you have an hour to kill, it’s great.
3)Evil World. Related to above, this isn’t an intellectual article like the rest, but it sure leads that way: CNN article asking why is the Congo the “Rape Capital of the World”? This is among the many articles that made me think of how sad and full of evil the world really is. That’s worth thinking about. But to balance this:
2) Kimberly Klein’s “My Beautiful Mess” was an extremely thought-provoking article for me this year (many of her posts are excellent, to be honest), written some time ago while she was in Kenya – thoughts on suffering and hope. I’m not at the point of balance she is yet, but it is somewhere I hope to be someday. Read it, it’s profound.
1) George John Romanes. Another article I read that is simply profound is this one on the life of George John Romanes. If you only read one page I list here, this is the one to read: A Pilgrim’s Regress: George John Romanes and the Search for Rational Faith. His story really impacted me and the drama of the story just takes you in. The ending is a surprise!
Anyway. That’s what I got for closing the year. I have nothing original to say, but the above people are saying whatever it is better than I can right now!
On to 2012 C.E. And I hear-tell the world might end then, so better make it a good one! Happy New Year everybody!