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Posts tagged "Alan Jacobs"

Another Week Ends: Assurance Anxiety, Genesis Lessons, Tumblr Love, Lost in the Cosmos, Iron Man Prep, and Hatsune Miku's Pizza Stage

Another Week Ends: Assurance Anxiety, Genesis Lessons, Tumblr Love, Lost in the Cosmos, Iron Man Prep, and Hatsune Miku’s Pizza Stage

1. First off, a little pop theology. Phillip Cary contributed an encouraging review of J.D. Greear’s sensationally titled Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart to the recent issue of Christianity Today, under the header “Anxious About Assurance”. As he does in his book Good News for Anxious Christians, Cary gets straight to the heart of the matter:

Greear is not saying it’s wrong to ask Jesus into your heart. He’s saying it’s not the same thing as believing the gospel. And if we want to be assured of salvation, it’s believing the gospel that actually counts. We are saved by faith…

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Another Week Ends: Scary Nihilists, Repentant Starlets, Priestly Astronauts, Bad Vestments, Passive Aggressive Notes, Recovering Olympicists, Spiritual Conductors, Dylan's Blood and Rooted

Another Week Ends: Scary Nihilists, Repentant Starlets, Priestly Astronauts, Bad Vestments, Passive Aggressive Notes, Recovering Olympicists, Spiritual Conductors, Dylan’s Blood and Rooted

1. The media has been saturated this past week with stories about the Aurora tragedy, and rightfully so. Ross Douthat’s “The Way We Fear Now” was one particulary striking (and slightly scary!) example:

[Holmes’] crime has probably also solidified the Batman movies’ status as a cultural touchstone for our era of anxiety… our contemporary iconography of evil is increasingly dominated by figures who seem to have stepped out of Nolan’s take on the DC Comics universe: world-burners, meticulous madmen, terrorists without a cause.

Older enemies — Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Mao’s China — represented a different form of evil: institutional rather than…

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Another Week Ends: Gamer Grace, Baby Data, Moonrise Kingdom, Amygdalas, LEGO (and Kinkade) Infernos, Munch's Scream, more Marilynne, and Parks and Rec

Another Week Ends: Gamer Grace, Baby Data, Moonrise Kingdom, Amygdalas, LEGO (and Kinkade) Infernos, Munch’s Scream, more Marilynne, and Parks and Rec

1. Yes Please: A truly wonderful article from our friends at Kill Screen looking at video games through the lens of the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the Geek.” Richard Clark explores the crucial difference between playing for points and playing for fun, the imperative to win vs. the freedom to lose. The grounding concept is that of playfulness, which has long been a favorite subject/approach here at Mbird–so much so that I’m a little jealous that Clark nailed it so beautifully! Definitely recommended for the non-gamer:

[The Beatitudes] reward those who seek to settle competition rather than win it, and those who…

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Top Theology Books of 2011

Top Theology Books of 2011

The following is a list (in no particular order) of some of the most interesting theological books published in 2011. Needless to say it’s been a banner year.

Lutheran Theology by Steven Paulson

What is Lutheranism? Rather than answering this question by outlining the history and development of Lutheranism, Paulson goes back to Luther himself to rediscover its long-lost soul, using Luther against Lutheranism and its many failed representatives throughout history. By far, this book is Lutheran theology at its best. Positively, this Lutheran theology is a theology that must be preached and therefore it is the message of the justification by…

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The Spiritual Bourgeoisie vs The Gospel(s)

The Spiritual Bourgeoisie vs The Gospel(s)

Some profound words from the late English cultural historian Christopher Dawson, via Alan Jacobs‘ fantastic blog, more than 95 theses:

“The spirit of the Gospel is eminently that of the ‘open’ type which gives, asking nothing in return, and spends itself for others. It is essentially hostile to the spirit of calculation, the spirit of worldly prudence and above all to the spirit of religious self-seeking and self-satisfaction. For what is the Pharisee but a spiritual bourgeois, a typically ‘closed’ nature, a man who applies the principle of calculation and gain not to economics but…

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Book Review - Original Sin: A Cultural History

Book Review – Original Sin: A Cultural History

The best book I read in 2008 was Original Sin: A Cultural History by Alan Jacobs. Jacobs, who teaches English at Wheaton College, begins by pointing out that throughout history (and in almost every culture) humankind has always pondered the question, “if we are basically good, or at best morally neutral, then why is the world so bad?” The Christian answer to this question, of course is doctrine of Original Sin, which states that from birth we are born corrupt, guilty, and worthy of condemnation. Beginning with St Augustine, Jacobs tracks the history of this controversial doctrine, illustrating the innumerable…

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