Around the Horn :: 7.5.2012

July 5, 2012

Around-the-Horn[1]Teach Your Children the Bible is Not About Them
I grew up thinking the Bible was filled with rules you had to keep and with heroes setting examples you had to follow.  So I would read, “thou shalt not” – and I did, always and often.  Or, I would read about David and Goliath (just to pick one story) and think that I had to be David.  And when I couldn’t be, or wasn’t, the hero then what?  Imagine my surprise to discover that I can’t, nor was I ever meant to be the hero (Christ always is).  And the biggest surprise of all: the Bible isn’t about me.

Many Echoes But Only One True Story
We all know periodic moments in which, suddenly, we seem to see clearly—as if a veil lifts or a bell rings.

The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2012: A Delight for the Senses
Here’s a great report of an apparently very good gathering.

The Page that Changed My Life
It might seem odd, then, that the page that has deeply affected my life is the very last of a 615-page work of academic history. George Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale, 2003) appeared in my final year of college. I received it as a gift from a dear friend, an event that always makes a book seem friendlier and more meaningful.

Read Better with Baxter
Centuries ago the Puritan preacher Richard Baxter penned some wisdom on the subject of reading. His concern was for people to become better, more discerning readers. His advice seems as timely today as it must have been for the men and women of the seventeenth century. It may be it is even more important today since we have access to far more books and writing (and blogs and web sites and Twitter feeds and e-books and…) than the Puritans could ever have imagined.

Grow Up?  Maybe Next Decade
The great John D. MacDonald saw the trend back in 1975: “But there are one hell of a lot more grown-up ladies than grown-up men” (The Dreadful Lemon Sky).  Or, more recently, Tony Soprano, who complains, “Whatever happened to Gary Cooper?”

Peace, Patriotism, and Sehnsucht
From Mere Orthodoxy:  For some, American Patriotism of the sort often exhibited on July Fourth–and also before sports events, at some elementary schools before the day begins, and in most country music–has for some people become rather gauche and vulgar. To these skeptics, patriotism is brash and unbecoming, something associated with “freedom fries,” yellow ribbon militarism, Toby Keith, guns and George W. Bush. Patriotism is simply an emotionally manipulative arm of nationalism, they suppose; a dangerous ideology that can fuel reckless foreign policy and unseemly cultural arrogance.  While some of those criticisms are valid (to be sure, patriotism has at times throughout history been used to galvanize nations around dastardly plans and policies), I think it’s a mistake to assume that a) patriotism is the same thing as nationalism, and b) patriotism is a manufactured extension of hegemonic ideology.