Some people call me “Sir Links A Lot.” Actually no one calls me that, because I don’t link a lot–I link a very very very little. Hopefully no one calls anyone “Sir Links A Lot” because that would be really lame. But anyway, for your enjoyment I am going to link a little today and point you to some interesting articles I have read this week and give you some of my thoughts. I used to do this thing called “The Cultural Thermometer”–it was all the rage amongst my 3 faithful readers. Basically I just link to some interesting articles I have read and share some mildly insightful thoughts–enjoy:
1. Richard Dawkins is not a Harry Potter fan! Like me, you probably don’t care what Children’s books Richard Dawkins fancies, but if you follow Dawkin’s much, you won’t be surprised that Dawkin’s took this interview as another opportunity to proclaim that teaching your child about Hell is worse than physically abusing your child. That my friends, is an unsubstantiated claim if I ever heard one. Actually I have read research that reports those who believe in God live happier, more fulfilled lives. Dawkins claims that we should always have evidence for what we believe and yet he often fails to give evidence for the audacious claims he so often makes.
Interestingly enough, Dawkins’ doesn’t like Harry Potter because it is fantastical, but loves Philip Pullman’s work because apparently he deems it to be free from “magic and fairytales.” Well, Dawkins claims to have read Pullman but I am not so sure, I have read all three of the books in Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and found tons of magic and fantasy–there are witches, angels, magical knives and compasses, parallel universes, and talking armored polar bears–all of which Dawkins apparently finds far from fantastical! Ok, so you get my point, Dawkins likes Pullman because Pullman is an atheist. I am not endorsing Harry Potter, but its worth noting that Dawkins has never read any of the Harry Potter books! Dawkins says he is working on a Children’s book of his own that will be a celebration of naturalism and surprise surprise–another attempt to debunk what Dawkins so fondly calls the “Judeo-Christian Myth”–think God Delusion for kids.
2. William P. Young, Author of The Shack speaks out against his critics. Young responds to numerous Christian bloggers who have criticized his book for its pluralistic bent by saying The Shack is simply a “God thing.” He also claims that those who have read it have failed to point out where the book is contrary to the Bible. While I have not read the book, I must disagree because I have heard portions of the book read that scream of pluralism if not full-on universalism both of which are contrary to Scripture (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). How is that not contrary to Scripture? Check out Dr. Mohler’s radio show on the book as well as Tim Challies review for examples. If Young wants to write from a universalistic point of view, he is free to do so, but it is mind boggling to me how in this interview, Young is allowed to get away with calling his book a “God-thing” and never actually responding seriously to any of the many serious objections Christian reviewers have brought against it.
3. A Bob Dylan Documentary Worth Watching? I don’t watch Bob Dylan documentaries because they are a dime a dozen. There are more Bob Dylan documentaries than I can shake a stick at. If I had a dime for every time someone made a Bob Dylan Documentary, I would have a lot of dimes! Ok, you get the idea, there are a lot of Dylan Documentaries out there. Why should you watch this one? Because its called Inside Bob Dylan’s Jesus Years: Busy Being Born … Again! There was a period during the late 1970s when Dylan claimed to have been born again. He then proceeded to write a trilogy of Christian albums and even refused to play some of his more secular songs in concert. Dylan is believed by many to be the greatest living songwriter, I can’t say that I know where he stands spiritually, but he did produce some beautiful music in his “born again” days. I am not really interested in Dylan Documentaries, but I plan to check this one out.
4. What do you get when you throw John Piper, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, and Greg Boyd in the same city? . . . Minneapolis, Minnesota! Colin Hansen, Christianity Today editor and author of Young, Restless and Reformed wrote an interesting piece on the diverse and influential churches of Minneapolis Minnesota. It seems that Minneapolis is something of a microcosm of Christianity in America today. There are numerous expressions of it, some of which I am concerned about, others of which I find encouraging. Though I know Hansen has his leanings, he does an excellent job of being fair and balanced in this interesting piece about churches on far different ends of the spectrum, and in the process tells us something about where Christianity is headed in America today.
5. Two interesting Articles on Marriage: Apparently infidelity rates are rising, particularly among women and another article claims a link between economic recession and divorce rates. How about taking a few minutes today to pray for your marriage and your friend’s marriages–that we might display the glory of Christ in our marriages in the midst of a culture that is increasingly devaluing marriage!