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Understanding the Alt-Right

August 17, 2017

Confused about the Alt-Right? Wonder how it’s different from conservatism? Here’s an explanation by Joe Carter for the Acton Institute: “5 Facts about the Alt-Right.” It’s the best short explanation I’ve seen.

George Leef on “Specialist Degrees”

August 17, 2017

The idea is to cut, or cut back on, general education and to give students what they want in the fields in which they want it. George Leef gives his opinion at National Review.

While Leef isn’t thinking about ministerial education in particular, it’s worth noting that seminaries are facing exactly this problem as an increasing number of schools are trying to collapse the traditional B.A.-through-M.Div. cycle into a quick, methods-oriented program.

The Essence of Idolatry

August 17, 2017

When I break God’s law, I stand above God’s law, and I feel like I am God, the one in control. Seeing myself as one who lives under the law is a constant reminder to me that I am not God but a creature, subject to his rule. The sheer delight Augustine found in stealing the mediocre and bitter pears was not a delight in the intrinsic merits of pears themselves. It was the pleasure of pretending to himself that he was God.

Trueman, Carl R.; Grace Alone—Salvation as a Gift of God: What the Reformers Taught…and Why It Still Matters (The Five Solas Series) (p. 60). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Instead of Falling On Your Sword . . .

August 16, 2017

. . . Swallow it. Here’s how, according to the Scientific American. Lesson One:

Essentially, sword swallowers have to figure out how to carefully align a sword with their upper esophageal sphincter — a ring of muscle at the top end of the throat– and straighten the pharynx, commonly achieved by hyper-extending the neck by tipping the head waaay back.

Matthew Barrett on the Sufficiency of Scripture

August 16, 2017

[W]e should not approach the Bible as if it addresses all information in the world. One cannot look up 2 + 2 in the Bible and discover that the answer is 4. The Bible is not an encyclopedia, a dictionary, or a textbook. Nor did God mean for it to be treated in this way. Yet while the Bible does not address all information or all fields of practice (hence the “light of nature”), this does not mean that the Bible fails to provide God’s people with general biblical principles applicable regardless of one’s vocation. Indeed, the Bible provides us with a theological and moral framework and worldview that extends to all of life.

Barrett, Matthew. God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture: What the Reformers Taught…and Why It Still Matters (The Five Solas Series) (p. 339). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Are Emotions Morally Significant?

August 16, 2017

Peter Leithart contrasts the answers given by Kant and Aristotle.

 In Aristotelian ethics, the passions aren’t a matter of choice, not in the moment when we experience them. Yet, emotions can be trained. . . . We aren’t responsible for the momentary experience, but we are responsible for how we respond and how we have trained our emotional character.

Infographic: The Richest Person in Every State

August 15, 2017

If you’re interested, you can see it at the Daily Timewaster.