Monday, May 19, 2008

Brief thoughts

Here are a few ideas that don't warrant a full post in themselves.
  • C.S. Lewis' second Narnia book (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) has hit the theaters. Some have pointed out that there are some significant changes from the original story line (probably some spoilers in there for some of you). Some people think this is actually an improvement on the story line. Some feel the true meaning of the original has been adulterated. Others are somewhere in the middle. I haven't seen it-- what do YOU think?

  • Hilary's almost certain loss is striking some odd chords-- including the idea behind THIS piece from the New York Times, which argues that the advancement of women will be hurt from her loss. Apparently, Hilary has simultaneously positioned herself as NOT benefiting from the gender question while at the same time answering it. (Being a male, I was obviously ignorant of such high-level ideas.) Ironically, if she has marketed herself on the women's lib vote then she doesn't deserve to win. As my friend Sam Murrell suggested, to vote for Hilary Clinton ONLY because she is a woman (or Barack Obama ONLY because he is black) is to also undercut your own argument opposing others who vote AGAINST them for the same reason. Hilary can't say, "vote for me because it's time to have a woman in the White House" and then hold it against those who vote for her opposition because they don't want a woman President. Logical consistency at its simplest.

  • If you've been tracking with me on the stir and kerfuffle surrounding the General Assembly overture (#9) about Deacons, Deaconesses, and Women, you may be interested to know that Wayside Presbyterian Church in the Chattanooga area has posted a page that aggregates (or at least attempts to) all of the discussion from around the web. You don't have to look far to see the sort of hard-line, slippery-slope thinking I've mentioned. (WARNING: if you love the church and are discouraged by ungodly treatment of pastors and others, read with caution. Many of these discussions are not for the faint of heart.) I DO appreciate their work, especially, in their words, that they "are not making any effort... to sort the articles into 'pro,' 'con,' or neutral. These articles come from several different viewpoints. We are just providing information."

  • Along the lines of the previous item, my personal hope is that the 2009 General Assembly will appoint a study committee to consider what guidelines, if any, ought to be offered as measures of godly character and discussion for those who choose to use blogs, websites, discussion forums, and other Internet tools to debate theological and denominational matters.

  • Following up on my words about the Evangelical Manifesto, Ed Stetzer released the word late last week that Ergun Caner, President and Dean of the Seminary at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School, asked that his name be stricken from the charter list on the basis of his claim that he never signed it. For those who don't immediately make the connection (I didn't), Liberty is the school that the late Jerry Falwell founded and led for many years; ironically, Caner's own website describes him as "a leading voice for evangelicalism on the national stage." For another take on the Evangelical Manifesto, check out this post from Scot McKnight, Professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (UPDATE: see this response to McKnight from PCA Pastor Andy Jones), and this alternative version offered by Dave Burchett, ESPN producer and Christian writer.

  • If you've been following the stuggles and difficulties in the wake of the natural disaster in Myanmar (Burma), you may be interested to know that missions boards and relief organizations are now succeeding in getting funds and other aid into the area. The PCA's Mission to the World (MTW) is asking for financial assistance through its "Minutemen" program; World Vision International is also appealing for help. Both sites have ways that you can donate online.

  • Here's a video I overlooked for my media tidbits on Friday: Possessed, a documentary which gives an amazing look at the worlds of hoarders. Very well done, with no commentary other than what the hoarders themselves offer. You can watch the whole thing online.

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