In Case You Missed It

Jon Bloom posted at Desiring God earlier this week asking the question: Is your world too small?

In recent centuries, our collective knowledge of the cosmos along with everything else has increased astronomically. Now we know that in size comparison, our solar system is to the universe what an atom is to our solar system. One result of this knowledge is that we have a tendency to view everything through what I’ll call a telescopic perspective: We live, as they say at Walt Disney, in “a small, small world”…We live in a small world at high speed. And the problem is that this way of living tends to produce spiritual barrenness rather than richness.

Bruce Ashford published an article at Canon and Culture titled: “The Great Barrier Rieff: Stemming the Tide of Destruction in American Culture and Public Life.” Dr. Ashford writes:

Outside of sociological circles, not many people these days have heard of Philip Rieff. But Rieff stands as one of the twentieth century’s keenest minds, and remains one of the greatest gifts—even if a complicated and challenging gift—to Western society…The progression of his thought over the course of his life sheds light on Rieff’s enduring significance, as well as offering us some vital wisdom for evaluating American culture today.

Dr. David Allen published a helpful article addressing five keys to reaching the “selfie” generation.

We all learned a new word in 2012: “selfie.”

For those of you who may still be in the cultural dark on this one, a “selfie” is a self-portrait photograph typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone held at arm’s length and then shared on social networking sites. Time magazine considered “selfie” one of the top 10 buzzwords for 2012. By 2013, the word was listed as “word of the year” and had become commonplace enough for inclusion in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Apparently, selfies make up 30 percent of the photos taken by people ages 18-24. Amazing. …

In one sense, we are all “selfies.” Self-assertion; self-centeredness; self-conceit; self-defensive; self-indulgent; self-pleasing; self-seeking; self-sensitive; and the list goes on. Christians are supposed to be people who have denied self and who have died to self, according to Jesus.

So how do we reach the selfie generation?

Bekah Stoneking reviewed Barnabas Piper’s new book Help my Unbelief at the Southeastern Women’s Life blog.

The last 10 or so months of my life have been a real struggle in many ways. I also hit a place spiritually where I was so deep in a wilderness-like pit that even I, a disciple of more than two decades and with one-and-a-half seminary degrees under my belt, didn’t know how to claw my way out. I’m beyond grateful to my pastor, Josh, who has been a vigilant shepherd, who has interceded on my behalf, and who carried the Light by my feet when I didn’t have the strength to. I am also grateful for writers like Trillia Newbell and Barnabas Piper who have shared their gifts and wisdom with the Church. I reviewed Newbell’s most recent (and super helpful!) book, Fear and Faithhere and after I finished reading it, I began Piper’s book, Help My Unbelief.

Finally, Barnabas Piper posted this article at his personal blog this week: The One Key Component to Good Writing (It’s Not What You Think).

Has there ever been a great writer who wasn’t a great reader? That’s like asking if there has ever been a great baseball player who has never watched baseball. It’s almost a nonsense question.

But, unlike baseball, there are numerous people who seek to compose works without having read deeply and widely. Not everyone watches or plays baseball, but language is common to everyone. We all communicate via the spoken and written word, therefore people feel they can write. And in the most basic sense of writing (group of words makes up a sentence, group of sentences make up a paragraph, top to bottom, left to right) that’s true.

But good writing is a product of good thinking. Good thinking is a product of good reading. Good writing is a product of good craftsmanship. And order to write well OR think well one must read well.

 

The Center for Faith and Culture and Oxford

Every Tuesday morning at Between the Times we highlight the work of Southeastern’s Center for Faith and Culture (CFC). Directed by Dr. Ken Keathley, Professor of Theology at Southeastern, the Center seeks to bring the Christian faith to bear upon all areas of life through helping others to think and to act Christianly in both private and public discourse. To this end, the Center hosts numerous conferences, guest lectures, debates and study tours throughout the year. Recently, Dr. Keathley and others completed the annual Oxford Study Tour. Here is the first of several posts on their time in England. 

Regents Park is a Baptist college in the Oxford University system. This year Dr Malcolm Yarnell (Professor of Theology at SWBTS, and my very good friend) and I have taken a study group from Southwestern Seminary and Southeastern Seminary on a 18-day tour of England and Scotland. Regents Park has been gracious enough to let us once again stay with them. They have welcomed Southern Baptist students every summer for more than two decades, and they are wonderful hosts. We challenged their hospitality by bringing a group of over 70 students, faculty, and others. They rose to the task above and beyond expectations. David Harper, the college’s bursar, has moved heaven and earth to provide us with excellent accommodations. Some of us are staying at St. Johns College which is across the street from Regents Park.

Regent's ParkOxford has more history per square inch than any other place I know. Want to see where Latimer and Ridley were burned at the stake for the sake of the Gospel? That’s about a quarter of mile from where we’re staying. Want to buy something from the candy store where Alice (as in the Alice of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland) used to get her candy? About a mile from here. In between St. John’s and Regents Park is a pub called The Eagle and the Child. For decades a literary group call The Inklings met there. J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were members. On Thursdays Tolkien would read to C. S. Lewis and the other attendees portions of a little tale he was writing called Lord of the Rings.

Michael Travers is teaching on the apologetics of C. S. Lewis, David Allen on British Preaching, and Nathan Finn and Malcolm Yarnell are team-teaching on Baptist History. What’s not to love?

For Dr. Keathley’s full series of posts on the tour, and more on the CFC, check out his blog here