Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Brick Testament

Found a fun site called the Brick Testament, which has the bible stories illustrated by Legos. It is not the most reverential bible but I suspect my readers might get quite a kick. Enjoy.

See also:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Open challenge on presuppositional apologietic

I don't think the presuppositional apologetic will hold up to a simple empiricist argument. Are there any advocates out there that would like to try and run one through about a dozen back and fourths to give it a shot? If so post (non anonymously please).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

10 reasons men should not be pastors

  1. A man’s place is in the army.
  2. The pastoral duties of men who have children might distract them from the responsibility of being a parent.
  3. The physique of men indicates that they are more suited to such tasks as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do ministerial tasks.
  4. Man was created before woman, obviously as a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
  5. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. Their conduct at football and basketball games demonstrates this.
  6. Some men are handsome, and this will distract women worshipers.
  7. Pastors need to nurture their congregations. But this is not a traditional male role. Throughout history, women have been recognized as not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
  8. Men are prone to violence. No really masculine man wants to settle disputes except by fighting about them. Thus they would be poor role models as well as dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
  9. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was betrayed by a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment remind us of the subordinated position that all men should take.
  10. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep sidewalks, repair the church roof, and perhaps even lead the song service on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the church.
Taken from Serving Bread blog

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Postmodernism, how do we know a text means?

There was a request for a follow up where we can have an actual conversation.

This reply came from Jugulum. It was censored on Team Pyro:

You said,
"The meaning doesn't reside in the comments themselves, but rather in the shared culture which allows me to predict the meaning you and they are likely to assign."

OK... I can sort of accept that there is no "inherent" meaning in the particular combination of shapes that make up the content of these comments. Nor is there inherent meaning in the sounds that they map to, if we speak the comments aloud. For communication to work--or, for me to be able to predict what meaning you will assign to my words--there has to be some "shared culture", in your terminology. At the very least, we must all be English-speakers. (But that's not all there is to it. There are other degrees of "shared culture". For instance, an isolated hill-billy will misunderstand a Brit's comment about carrying a torch onto a lift. i.e., there's lingo, jargon, slang, regional dialects, etc.)

I get that much. As far as that goes, I see merit in what you're saying.


Can't we still say that my comments have an inherent meaning, based on the context of my culture? Or if you don't like that phrasing: That there is a meaning which I intend--a meaning that is graspable by anyone with access to my culture? A predictable understanding, in your terminology? That there is an authorial intent, accessible to others? (I'm not claiming that anyone will necessarily perfectly understand that intent. Our horizons of cultural understanding will never perfectly coincide. But we can approach each other.)

In fact, we could say this: Any time we try to read or hear someone else's words, we should seek to understand their culture/language. When I speak, I assume that there is a shared culture. And I expect that my listeners will pay attention to that. That they'll seek authorial intent.

If you insist that there isn't inherent meaning in the collection of symbols I put together--isn't there inherent meaning in, "Those symbols, put together by Jugulum, a 21st-century American native English-speaker"?

All of this translates to, "We should seek to use an authorial-intent hermeneutic. The better we exercise such a hermeneutic, the better we will understand. (i.e., The better we achieve shared culture, the better we will be able to predict the intended or received meaning.)"

The hope for this thread is to have an open ended discussion on this. All are welcome.

Censorship and dishonesty in evangelical Christianity

So I'm coming off a debate on TeamPyro blog where bunch of my comments are being deleted to effectively shift what I'm saying. That is to say that Dan Phillips is deliberately misrepresenting me, lying in other words.

Now he is a well respected guy, and he was cavalier about it so I assume he does this sort of nonsense on a regular basis. What's interesting is not the dishonesty, but the pattern I've seen on these blogs. I have to wonder why is it that so many conservative Protestants do not consider dishonesty to be sinful in practice? This approach of casual misrepresenting what the other side has to say is considered perfectly acceptable on most conservative Christian blogs. I was just yesterday reading a review of the Voice translation which was quite good, but there was an underlying untruthfulness throughout the review. I've posted many times on the issues with the ESV supporters lying about the TNIV.

The patriarchy people have certainly done it as documented a zillion times here. Of course the various Christian cults do it. You don't see this among liberal Christians or atheists, they are generally upset if they have misrepresented someone's view, and quick to correct. You see it much more rarely among Catholics. I don't have a good theory as to why this is. So I'll open the floor up. What is your feeling about Christians blogs and integrity? Do think it is lower for conservative protestants? Is so any idea why this is? Does it come from Calvin's influence?