See afternoon update (below)
My mind isn't gripped at the moment by an idea big enough for a post — but I have seen some interesting and/or cool things here and there. I offer them with the expectation of responses ranging from "Cool!" to "Hm," and even unto "Well, I'll be."
Weltanschauung rap! Check it here; it's been going rounds such as Timmy Brister and (even!) Tom Ascol. (I wonder whether the prof says Weltanschauung right, or I do. Or neither.)
Kimball! Occasional Pyro-post fodder (and fellow Chicago fan) Dan Kimball laid down some sober words about the preaching of Hell, in the context of the relevance of the afterlife. It's interesting, and I think it's very Kimbally. Starts off friendly, rambling, chatty. Plugs Ron Sider's "wonderful" tome (to which, unless Sider's changed dramatically, I say "booo!"). And then Dan gets to the meat of his point, laying down that "balance" would mean
...making sure we teach and live out the good (great) news of the gospel and Kingdom living here and now in this life - that we still talk and teach about the reality of the after-life. That we still talk about heaven and we also still talk about the reality of hell.Further,
I understand fully the reality of how we neglected understanding the Kingdom of God on this earth and what that means and perhaps focused too much on the after-life only when we talked about the gospel. But at the same time, how can we forget about the reality of the after-life and not talk or think about hell and heaven?I like Dan — and there'll be no "but" to that. I have enjoyed corresponding with Dan, and we plan to get together next time he's in The Big Tomato. I commend the article itself to you for your consideration.
Many of you will feel (as I do) that Dan seems more apologetic than you or I might be. But then I remind myself that as a rule that Dan talks to different sorts than this Dan does, and that "The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive" (Proverbs 15:2a CSB). His commenters as a rule accept what he's said seriously. It seems to me that Dan is approaching the same things Phil recently talked about here and here, if maybe from the other direction.
And then Dan says this:
I believe from passages such as in Daniel 12:2 to a bunch of them in the New Testament which to me clearly indicate that there is an eternal separation of people in the afterlife. A horrifying and heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, mind-searing, painful thought. But a reality I personally cannot dismiss. So it doesn't mean that we take the gospel and only focus on hell, as the gospel is about this life too. But at the same time, we can't forget or dismiss the topic of hell either, which I am wondering if we are beginning to do in some circles.On the one hand, I think a fair reading makes Dan's personal convictions clear enough. But there's this: "a reality I personally cannot dismiss."
Do we preach the reality, though, and not merely share it? Are we not to proclaim the truths of Heaven and Hell, not merely as truths we personally hold, but as truths that Jesus personally held, and therefore which all personally must hold, or they are in rebellion against God? Isn't that what Christian preaching is, viewed from one angle: heralding King Jesus' personal beliefs, in the confidence that He is truth (John 14:6), and His words (= personal beliefs) are therefore non-negotiably true and binding (John 8:40; 18:37)? It seems to me that the Christian stance affirms the transcendence and binding nature of God's personal beliefs, expressed in His Word, as over and against all human beliefs (Proverbs 30:1-6).
I personally am looking forward to dialogging with Dan about this and more.
Software! In my recent review of Logos, some commenters brought up e-Sword, which I've often recommended. Christian Computing Magazine has put up a short review both of e-Sword, and of Zondervan's engine Pradis (h-t mgvh).
Ventriloquism? Can a ventriloquist do anything fresh? Turns out... yes! If you weather that well, check out the longer (and funnier Letterman version. (I tried to find some good Sr. Wences footage, but couldn't — apart from a brief documentary in Spanish with a lot of interviews and little performance footage.)
That's all for now.