Jan 23, 2014

Playing football for Jesus Christ: Thursday links

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson talks to Mark Driscoll:

Malcolm Gladwell goes back to church:
I was raised in a Christian home in Southwestern Ontario. My parents took time each morning to read the Bible and pray. Both my brothers are devout. My sister-in-law is a Mennonite pastor. I have had a different experience from the rest of my family. I was the only one to move away from Canada. And I have been the only one to move away from the Church.

I attended Washington Community Fellowship when I lived in Washington D.C. But once I moved to New York, I stopped attending any kind of religious fellowship. I have often wondered why it happened that way: Why had I wandered off the path taken by the rest of my family?

What I understand now is that I was one of those people who did not appreciate the weapons of the spirit...I have always believed in God. I have grasped the logic of Christian faith. What I have had a hard time seeing is God’s power (Relevant).
Some conversions are tragic:
Ancient myths of a lost golden age are tragic because the end is always less than the beginning; later is at best a tarnished version of the early. Arianism is a tragic theology because it claims that only the unbegotten origin is full divine; no begotten Second Person can be equal to the unbegotten Father. Orthodox Christianity is not tragic; it is comic, encouraging hope in the age to come and insisting that the “derived” Godhead of the Son and Spirit is identical to the Godhead of the original Father.

Conversions are tragic when they are driven by the desire to exhume a pure origin, a mythic ideal church from which all the others have deviated. Not all conversions are tragic in this sense. But some are (Peter Leithart).
The problem of natural revelation in Van Til's thought:
If nature only reveals unalleviated folly and ruin, and if common grace does nothing to moderate the effects of sin after the fall, how is it that the suppression of truth is not fully successful? [Cornelius Van Til's] point seems to suggest a doctrine of utter depravity, where the unregenerate are wholly without wisdom in every possible way ('unalleviated folly'), but [Van Til also] denies this is so, and affirms that the unregenerate cannot in fact blot out all wisdom (they still retain knowledge of God). So Van Til's position seems to have a serious problem even on its own terms. In addition, however, it is difficult to imagine where this peculiarly Van Tilian version of the doctrine of common grace is taught in scripture (Calvinist International).
The Secret Garden and the American New Thought movement:
Frances Hodgson Burnett believed in the potential of the mind, especially her own. She stated, "I am not a Christian Scientist, I am not an advocate of New Thought, I am not a disciple of the Yogi teaching, I am not a Buddhist, I am not a Mohammedan, I am not a follower of Confucious. Yet I am all of these things." She crafted a religion to suit her own needs, and she constructed the rest of her life that way as well (Religion in American History).
Churches can be institutions for transformative solidarity:
While working-class young adults 'struggle with similar, and structurally rooted, problems, there is no sense of "we,"' reports ­Jennifer M. Silva, author of Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty. The people she interviewed face problems that are bigger than any one person: unemployment, lingering racism, and a lack of the social capital necessary to navigate higher education and the knowledge economy. But instead of seeking help, they reject solidarity and embrace a go-it-alone ethic. They say things like 'No one else is going to fix me but me,' and 'I'm like a rock. I like to figure things out for myself, so I really don't go looking for help.'  
... From the early Church to St. Vincent de Paul to Dorothy Day, Christians have always responded to poverty and class divisions with a deeply personal encounter. This personal encounter is what Pope Francis proposes in his recent challenges to go out to 'every street corner,' to the margins of society. He calls for 'small daily acts of solidarity' and advocates 'the art of accompaniment' (First Things).