Quick Takes – 8/9/2008

The Big Picture has some great photographs from yesterday’s 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Olympics Opening Ceremony | Beijing 2008

Peter Chattaway quotes T.S. Eliot, in his essay ‘Religion and Literature’, written in 1935. “The last thing I would wish for would be the existence of two literatures, one for Christian consumption and the other for the pagan world.”

Brad Wright explains the effect of measurement on behavior. “Just the act of measuring someone’s behavior, e.g., as is done in a survey, can change that person’s behavior by making them more aware of what they are doing … When we measure anything, whether in professional research or everyday-life, realize that we’re probably changing some aspect of it. If we want to change something, probably the first thing to do is to start measuring it.”

John Stackhouse mourns the disappearing of some Christian musical languages. “Christian contemporary rock is the main music language of ‘happening’ churches all over North America, Britain, Australia, and beyond. As simplistic as it certainly can be, both lyrically and musically, it has considerable range of expression when used by talented composers, singers, and instrumentalists. What it can’t do, however, is say everything that needs to be said.”

Nathan Busenitz quotes Cornelius Plantinga on the emptiness of life apart from God. “The truth is that nothing in this earth can finally satisfy us. Much can make us content for a time, but nothing can fill us to the brim. The reason is that our final joy lies ‘beyond the walls of the world,’ as J. R. R. Tolkien put it. Ultimate beauty comes not from a lover or a landscape or a home, but only through them. These earthly things are solid goods, and we naturally relish them. But they are not our final good. They point to what is ‘higher up’ and ‘further back.’

Justin Taylor answers the question: What if two theologians I respect disagree about Scripture’s meaning? “The answer to this is virtually the same as if the question had been, ‘What if two theologians I respect agree about Scripture’s meaning?’ In either scenario, the proper response is to imitate the ‘noble Bereans’ of Acts 17. These were Jews who listened to Paul and Silas proclaim God’s Word in their synagogue. We are told that ‘they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.’ In other words, they combined eager reception of teaching along with daily inspection to see if they were hearing was true.”

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