Re:Word is a weekly roundup of stories on faith, relationships, and creativity. Read on for generous portions of useful and interesting.
2. A close look at the reliability of the New Testament with the mighty Craig Blomberg. (Tip of the hat to @edstetzer and his blog www.edstetzer.com).
3. Getting Creative Things Done: How to Fit Hard Thinking into a Busy Schedule Blogger Cal Newport offers a system for doing creative work in our busy, to-do-list-laden schedules.
5. A challenge against passivity by author Michael Wittmer. This piece may be soon appear on ourdailyjourney.org, and it's thrilling to me when Wittmer posts his in-progress work to let readers "under the hood" with him. I learn something about faith and the writing process every time.
6. The 19th-century invention that annihilated time and space In 1844, the cutting edge of communications technology was the telegraph, and reports of its first success range from the charming to the near hysterical. My two favorite examples:
April 20, 1844
Mr. Morse said that, in conversing with the superintendent at the other end, he sometimes forgot himself, and was about to speak to him as though he were present, forgetting that he was talking with a man eleven or twelve miles distant.
May 31, 1844
Time and space has been completely annihilated.
The reactions seem positive, but their force reminds me of the equally strong criticism against new digital technology. For example, see Dr. Sherry Turkle's view that texting and cellphones are means to isolation. While I respect Turkle's point of view, the telegraph craze of 1844 is an amusing reminder that measuring the effects of technology is tricky business.
It's Just another piece to keep in mind as we consider ominous questions (such as this one, from Turkle: "people hide from telephone calls because they don't want the commitment of real-time talking... Who knows where it might lead?").
Morse's telegraph machine, aka the Annihilator of Time and Space.
7. A Statement from Christians Who are "Moving Beyond Evangelical" - Put two evangelicals in a room and you'll hear three opinions on what "evangelical" means.
Beyond the word itself, there's confusion about what the evangelical identity is about. If I understand author Frank Viola's post correctly, he finds the character of evangelicalism to be increasingly polemical, "more about [political and doctrinal] issues than about Jesus Christ."
I don't know that I agree with Viola on all the points of the collective Confession he presents, but when it comes to differences of opinion, we agree with Augustine's rule of thumb:
"In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity."
For further reading, check out Zondervan's Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism.
I'll end with a 2-part question.
Two strangers approach you.
The first asks you if you're a Christian. What do you say?
The second stranger asks if you're an evangelical. What do you say?
- Adam Forrest, Zondervan
(Disclosure: Some Re:Word stories are by Zondervan authors. Some are not. All regard words or the Word. Image attribution: 2006 Zubro (image by myself) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons This post does not represent the views of Zondervan or any of its representatives. The writer shares these personal opinions for information purposes only. To receive new blogposts in your reader or email inbox, subscribe to Zondervan Blog.)