Monday, July 28, 2008

Random

Another Biblical Horizons conference is history. It was a great week. A nice balance of topics for lectures. Good singing and worship. A large crowd of attendees, too. I gave four lectures on Colossians, mostly concentrating on the epochal change that took place in world history and the ordering of human life as a result of "the circumcision of Christ" (=his death on the cross). As usual, the interaction between lecturers helped me gather some loose ends together. I'll try to post something on this a little later this or next week.

The week before I left for the BH conference I began to read William P. Young's The Shack. The first thing to say about this novel is that it's not great literature. It's not even good literature. Actually, it's not very well written at all. I found it tedious to read. The story itself starts out okay. There's enough there to keep you reading. But then the protagonist gets to the shack. At that point the whole thing becomes worse than ridiculous. I have to be honest. I couldn't read any more after the revelation of the Trinity as a big black woman (the Father), a Jewish man (the Son), and a petite young Asian woman (the Spirit). At one point the main character asks, "Which on one of you is God?" They all answer at once, "I am." Give me a break. The whole thing is just plain goofy after that. Not to sound too elitist, but if this is the kind of "theological novel" that millions of American Christians love, then Christian culture in this country is in serious trouble. Well, of course, we already knew that, didn't we? If you want more information on this latest American Christian smoltzy novel, check out the World Magazine review. Read The Shack if you want. But you may end up screaming and throwing the book at the wall about a third of the way through.

I tried cuil.com, the latest challenge to Google. Not bad. A bit slow for me. But whoever wants to dethrone Google is gonna have to do a whole lot better than this.

I finally got around to listening to this podcast on Radical Orthodoxy. I've read a lot of the RO books and articles, and I appreciate a lot of what they are saying, especially their critique of modernity (after AD 1300!). This CBC Radio podcast is helpful. David Cayley interviews Catherine Pickstock and John Milbank, so we get summaries of RO in their own words. There are, of course, serious problems with the positive theology of Milbank and the RO theologians. This podcast doesn't really deal with those problems. This is just a nice, succinct summary of the RO project.

3 comments:

srhoyle said...

Pastor Meyers...before dismissing cuil too readily, take a look here about this bold start-up:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080728/D926QMU00.html

i love learning said...

I like your review about "The Shack." I'm about half way through it and am not too impressed with it either (especially the part where God says that He doesn't have to punish sin because sin is a punishment in itself). Good review.

Jeff Meyers said...

Yes, that's just the kind of pop theology that makes me pull my hair out. How can anyone ignore or explain away all the places in the Bible where God says he will indeed punish PEOPLE for their rebellion. It's about as profound as this stupid idea that God doesn't send people to hell, people send themselves. Hell is the eternal experience of God's wrath.