Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Who’s Holding the Scales?

I have to admit I’m appalled by the debates flying around the Internet these days. More and more, they seem like merely the propaganda of angry factions, not the rational pronouncements of people who think things through.

And the sanctimony ... oh, the sanctimony! Every faction sees its perspective as not merely just, but as the only side a reasonable, compassionate, fair-minded, informed, civilized or decent person could ever be on.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Too Hot to Handle: Invincible Girls

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

You’ve seen the meme going around. Or maybe you haven’t. It reads like this:

“I took my girlfriend to see it. She knew nothing about Wonder Woman. In the opening training scene she leaned over and whispered, ‘Those are all women?’ After the movie, she had to take a moment in the car. She said, ‘So that’s what representation feels like. I had no idea that kind of role model was missing from my life.’ Then we cried. Thank you, Wonder Woman.”

Tom: Anything about that sweet story make you the slightest bit suspicious it isn’t 100% non-fiction, IC? (Hint: the claim, “Then we cried” is strongly suggestive.)

Immanuel Can: This is a guy we’re talking about, right? I just want to check, because it’s by no means apparent to me.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Too Hot to Handle: Not Quite What They Expected

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The Atlantic bemoans the failure of secularism to ease cultural conflict in America.

Between 1992 and 2014, the percentage of Americans who reject religious affiliation soared from six to twenty-two — 35% for millennials. And yet partisan clashes today are more brutal than at any time since Vietnam war protests and racial tensions of the late sixties, and the sense of “us” vs. “them” in America is only increasing.

Tom: Is this what happens when we seek peace without the Prince of Peace, Immanuel Can?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Who’s Holding the Scales?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Rest of the Psalm

So said the exiles of Judah in Babylon, and they wept as they recalled it. Their real home was far away. They belonged in Zion, and their present status was, to all appearances, quite degraded. Had things gone as they should, God’s people would have been singing psalms in the temple courts of the great city of Jerusalem, not sitting in servitude by the waters of Babylon.

But there they were all the same.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Who’s Holding the Scales?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Unmuddling the Muddle

I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that Christian teaching about prophecy is a chaotic muddle.

Within Christendom, in the broadest and most general terms, we find Preterists, Historicists, Futurists and Idealists. When we get into specific features of the prophetic calendar such as the Millennium, we fragment further into Pre-, Post- and Amillennialists, and the Premillennialists subdivide yet further into Pre-Tribulationists, Mid-Tribulationists and Post-Tribulationists. If I’ve left your view out, forgive me.

You will be unsurprised to find that I have no particular interest in trying to straighten all that out, and no patience for it even if I had the skill.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Invincible Girls

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

On Tactics and Their Acceptability

A well-known biblical precept begins with the words “Do unto others ...”

Context strongly suggests the Lord intended his followers to engage with his teaching actively rather than passively, by performing positive moral acts toward those in need of them.

That said, the negative implication most commonly drawn from his words (“Refrain from doing things you WOULDN’T like done to you”) is not wrong.

Either way, the social justice crowd would do well to pay attention.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Dawn of the Pod People

If you’ve ever watched a science fiction flick, you’ve probably seen people in pods.

Maybe they were traveling to another galaxy in suspended animation. Maybe they were hooked up to a computer matrix, bamboozled into believing in a counterfeit reality. Maybe they jumped into a one-man escape capsule to hide from aliens with freaky extensible jaws. Whatever the story logic, the image of people in personal life support units is near-universal in the sci-fi genre.

And hey, we’re living it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Not Quite What They Expected

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Culture Creep

Early this year, Crawford Paul wrote about how local churches can change to promote growth. One commenter gently took him to task:

“Post what changes you want, and what it means to open discussions (women speaking?) and be more specific.”

Short version: I jumped all over the commenter, who seemed generally opposed to change in the church and suggested Mr. Paul’s posts were fostering discontent. It seemed to me he was reading things into Crawford’s appeals for change that simply weren’t there (the subject of women speaking was never addressed in the post). I even suggested the commenter might be jumping at shadows.

Now I’m wondering if maybe I owe the poor guy an apology. He may not be so paranoid after all.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cultural Heritage and Faith

The lines are getting blurrier and blurrier.

The U.S. Constitution codified an Americanized version of British Common Law tradition that went all the way back to the 11th century and became the basis for the American identity and a culture that, for good or ill, has been unique in human history.

Now that identity is disappearing in America; drowning under wave after wave of unassimilated immigrants. This is not a new development. It has been going on for decades but has been steadfastly ignored by the political class. Republicans are happy because their corporate benefactors profit from cheap labour and continue to prop up their fading political hopes. Democrats are happy because immigrants and welfare dependents swell the ranks of potential Democrat voters.

Everyone (except perhaps the American middle class) benefits, so it is thought. Why rock the boat?

Well, the boat is rocking now. And we might wonder what the attitude of the American Christian caught in the middle of the culture wars really ought to be.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Culture War and Surrender

Someone recently recommended this David Brooks column in the New York Times as the “correct true Christian response” to the ongoing culture war.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Wikipedia refers to Brooks as a “non-observant” Jew and “conservative political and cultural commentator” — in other words, not exactly a leading spokesman for the Christian faith. Having read his op-eds on occasion, I was pretty sure what I’d be in for.

Still, my morbid curiosity won out, as it often does. Brooks starts with the obvious: the decline of Christianity in the United States, the decreasing percentage of the electorate made up of evangelical voters, millennial disinterest in institutional religion, etc., etc.

Short version: “Christians, you’re losing”.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The “Cultural” Argument

What do we mean when we say a particular passage of scripture is “culturally limited”?

It’s a pretty common argument these days, used to dismiss everything from apostolic teaching about the respective roles of men and women at home and in church to New Testament instructions about sexual purity.

The assertion at its core is that any particular command, principle or example being debated was intended only to address a particular local situation for a limited period of time, not as a directive for the church throughout its history.

But the cultural argument is a powder keg. We need to be careful how we handle it.