Christopher Clave recently observed how average IQ has widely declined over the last two decades. This decrease in IQ appears marked in developed countries. While he does not aim to name every cause, he suggests that “language impoverishment” might be one reason. [Read more…] about If Language Makes us Smart, AI will make us Stupid
Judith Butler and Gender Performance
In a 1988 article, gender theorist Judith Butler argued that performative acts in society constitute gender. What she meant was this. Society defines gender norms, and men and women act and dress according to those norms. But these norms have no deep structure. They are stylized performances of gender. Male and femaleness have no essential gender. “Gender is what is put on,” she argues (1988: 531).
Butler affirms and builds on Simone de Beauvoir’s claim that “one is not born, but, rather becomes a woman” (1988: 519). Beauvoir means that the idea of af being a “woman” is not a natural given but something shaped by society. [Read more…] about Judith Butler and Gender Performance
Four Thoughts on Student Loan Forgiveness and the Bible
The Bible teaches forgiveness. It teaches that God sent his only and beloved Son to satisfy the just penalty required of us due to our sin. Using biblical forgiveness as an analogy for student loan forgiveness also requires an explanation for how forgiven loans will satisfy the requirements of the loan (i.e. who foots the bills). [Read more…] about Four Thoughts on Student Loan Forgiveness and the Bible
The Last T4G: The Unraveling and Reweaving of North American Evangelicalism
I attended the last T4G. It marked the end of an era. But something was not quite right. Two of the four original founders were not there: Al Mohler and CJ Mahaney. Yet undoubtedly the conference and the theological culture it helped cultivate changed the evangelical landscape. Baptists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans fellowshipped at T4G. At one level, T4G 2022 evinced its success. We were there. All together.
But its success, significant as it is, does not match the larger evangelical scene. The Southern Baptist Convention—my former convention—has recently entered into a crisis. Russell Moore goes further and calls it an apocalypse. I am too far away from the SBC today to really understand what’s happening. But if Peter Wehner’s piece in the Atlantic is accurate, then apocalypse may very well be the right word. [Read more…] about The Last T4G: The Unraveling and Reweaving of North American Evangelicalism
Build More Christian Institutions
Pastors should shepherd the flock the Great Shepherd has given them. Pastors must then die to themselves to focus on their vocation. Often, that means avoiding political aspirations or other worthwhile endeavours because of their calling.
In other words, I agree with Pastor James Seward who said, “I’m not just an ordinary citizen. I’m enlisted. I’m a pastor. I’m a Word-man, and under-shepherd of Christ.” But not everyone Christian is a pastor. And God calls Christians to farming and to politics because Christians should enjoy and name the grace of God present everywhere in the created order. [Read more…] about Build More Christian Institutions
One Reason Why Pettiness Is Regarded as Piety
Herman Bavinck once wrote, “There is so much narrow-mindedness, so much pettiness among us, and the worst thing is that this is regarded as piety.” Bavinck was referring to two Christian groups the separatist churches of the Grievers and Seceders. Both groups left the state church, but they could not get along.
Why? Not because of matters of orthodox doctrine. Both had it. But because of pettiness and narrow-mindedness. It is the old problem of Donatism, of a drive for purity that that cuts itself off from other people. We often feel holier than the body of Christ.
But Jesus accepts us just as we are by faith. And so the body of Christ should welcome one another just as Christ welcomed us (Rom 15:7). To do anything less is to miss the mark of Christ’s love and formation of his body, the church.
One reason why we often become petty and narrow-minded as Bavinck says is because we do not understand how God’s Spirit gifts the created world and people in it, even of unbelievers or believers whom we disagree with. We think we are at the centre of it all. We are not because any truth or goodness that we find in this world has its origin in God. [Read more…] about One Reason Why Pettiness Is Regarded as Piety