Here are some thoughtful, fun and random things I have come across over the last week.
What the Internet Killed – a list of some things that the growth of the Internet has made obsolete. My favorite is the video store. I love Netflix and despise Blockbuster. I disagree that the internet has killed phone books, or at least, whoever produces phone books has not heard that yet as I have received two in the mail in the last month.
Why the Virgin Conception? – One of my favorite scholars, Ben Witherington, reflects on the Virgin Mary.
Christmas in Theological Perspective – Allan Bevere reminds us that though Christmas may appear the major Christian holiday in our contemporary world, theologically and historically it was not always so. In the New Testament, the death and resurrection of Jesus dwarfs his birth; just look at how much time is spent writing on each. Historically, the death and resurrection was celebrated immediately but Christmas did not become a major holiday until centuries later. Of course, the birth of Jesus was necessary for the death and resurrection to happen, but without the death and resurrection, Jesus was just one of many crucified Jews in the first century.
Football and the Limits of Conscience – Football is the most popular American sport by far. I enjoy watching a good football game as much as the next guy. Many Christians vigorously cheer for their favorite team. Can we have a conversation about the violence of football? Should it not matter that many retired football players suffer physically as a direct result of their playing days? I found this article thought-provoking in bringing up some such questions. The extreme reaction is to squash any questioning: football is great and people choose to play! But if we seek to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength, then we should at least think about our support of something that harms so many. Again, I am not saying we should not watch football (I do)…I am saying we should not watch it brainlessly, especially if our Christian faith truly affects all of who we are.
Big Brother is watching you at Wal-Mart which seems creepy. What is next, a call by the government to children to report on their parents if questionable things are discussed at home? This is why Wikileaks is a good thing – it is the media’s job to uncover and report truth.
The 20 Most Influential Christian Scholars – I enjoy listening to Greg Boyd’s sermons and reading his books, but I do not think he is #4. He does not seem as influential as the likes of Francis Collins, Albert Mohler, NT Wright and many others on this list. At any rate, it is an interesting list.