05 March 2008

Jesus, the Syrophoenician woman, and a reversal of violence

No, I did not come up with the totally sweet title of this post, it is in fact, the title of a very interesting article/post from Theology for the Masses.

David Kuo on Anne Rice

Talk about transformations: Anne Rice goes from vampire sex and and vampire gore to a Catholic whose contribution to literature, like many Catholic authors (i.e. G.K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, et al.), seems to be a little deeper and more profound than your run-of-the-mill "Christian" author.

Now take David Kuo, former White house lackey, former committed fundamentalist Christian who has been transformed to a deeper, more profound, more moderate Christian thinker and writer.

The convergence of those transformations is that David Kuo has written an excellent review of Anne Rice's new book, the second in her Christ the Lord series, and I think you should read it (them).

04 March 2008

Book Thieves, the Truth Project, and Bulletproof Logic

Here's a short article about people stealing books from independent bookstores in Seattle. Included is what the author calls the New York Times bestsellers list of stolen books—the books most commonly stolen and resold to other used bookstores—really gave me some ideas, but, (un)fortunately, my ethical and moral shock collar has reined me in.

Also, my place of employment is offering me a chance to participate in Focus on the Family's Truth Project, and I'm wondering whether I should or not. I am deeply suspicious of Focus on the Family, but it does seem very interesting. It's a 12 week course hoping to give you a Christian worldview. Of course, cynics might at this point begin to pander the word "brainwash," but, we all know J. Dobson would never do anything like that. I think I am going to do it, but I have a feeling that at least on some points my Christian worldview is different from others. Dobson, Dr. Del Tackitt, Ravi Zacharias, and others would probably conclude (something about some ridiculous non-contradiction "law") that it is an impossibility to have two different Christian worldviews. I imagine (notice my intentionally non-committal language here) that their argument, whether they would admit or not, could be expressed like this:

1. I am a Christian.

2. I have a worldview.

3. My worldview lines up with the Bible.

4. If something lines up with the Bible it is Christian.

5. Therefore, my worldview is the Christian worldview.

6. If others have a worldview fundamentally different than mine, it is not the Christian worldview (A does not equal B, and so forth).

Foolproof logic, no doubt, but that doesn't make all the premises true, and in this case I think its premises #3 ff. that I have a problem with. I would restate the argument thusly:

3. My worldview lines up with my interpretation of the Bible (or is it that my Bible interpretation lines up with my worldview: a real chicken before the egg conundrum that may lie at the heart of the Christian cultural war)

4. There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to interpret the Bible, mine being one of them (superior to some, inferior to many)

5. If something lines up with one of an unknown number of possible Christian interpretations of the Bible then it is Christian (the question on which this point in contigent is what constitutes a possible Christian interpretation? Is it that you vote anti-abortion and anti-gay, and read that in to every scripture?)

6. Therefore, my worldview, along with an unknown number of others, is a Christian worldview contingent upon it lining up with one of those possible Christian interpretations of the Bible.

Now, logicians, how would I express that mathematically?

01 March 2008

Greg, Shane and Chuck

You need to read about this debate that Chuck Colson, Shane Claiborne, and Greg Boyd had. Wow. Take that Richard Land.