Monday, January 13, 2014

All Around the Web - January 13, 2014

Denny Burk - New York Times reports on Calvinist resurgence
The New York Times has just published a feature on the resurgence of Calvinism among evangelicals. The story features Mark Dever and Collin Hansen as well as remarks from Arminian critic Roger Olsen. That fact that this story even made it into the nation’s paper of record is significant all by itself. For that reason alone, you don’t want to miss this one.

The end of the article asks whether the reformed resurgence is a fad—a movement that is here and then gone like the emergent church. I think that comparison misses the point. There are many important differences between the two movements that render them apples and oranges.

The emergent church represented theological innovation. The reformed resurgence is a rallying around something old. The emergent church comprised a theologically liberal impulse. The reformed resurgence comprises a conservative one—one rooted in the rallying cry of the reformation Sola Scriptura.

Christianity Today - The Normal, Drama-Free, Totally-Healthy Christian Homeschool Movement
While I know the kinds of heartbroken children of homeschooling Joyce profiles, I also know the other side. For every mistreated homeschooled kid who's grown up to be an outspoken rebel against the culture — and I know a few — I know a half-dozen young adults who grew up to go to college, get a real job, and find a healthy place in society without too much drama.

I say this not to discount the experiences of those who have been hurt by the patriarchal and overbearing bent in some homeschool settings. Those hurts are very real, and I hope with all my heart that those people find the healing they search for. I pray that such cultures have less and less power to harm as the practice of homeschooling spreads and gathers cultural diversity. Articles like Joyce's and this Daily Beast article by Michelle Goldberg do their part to shine light on the dark places of the homeschooling world.

These articles also remind me of the danger of letting news define our view of the world. It's no secret that news highlights the odd, often at the expense of the normal. As Catholic novelist and journalist G.K. Chesterton noted in 1909, journalism's biggest flaw is that it is a "picture made up entirely of exceptions."

Fox News - Rules for Manly Men | Darrin Patrick on Fox News

LifeNews - Scientists: Brain Wave Patterns Show Unborn Children Recognize Words in the Womb
Babies learn to recognize words and sounds in the womb, scientists say. And the baby does so well at recognizing the words that he or she has memories of them after birth, research shows.

From today’s report:
It may seem implausible that fetuses can listen to speech within the womb, but the sound-processing parts of their brain become active in the last trimester of pregnancy, and sound carries fairly well through the mother’s abdomen. “If you put your hand over your mouth and speak, that’s very similar to the situation the fetus is in,” says cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen of the University of Helsinki. “You can hear the rhythm of speech, rhythm of music, and so on.”

A 1988 study suggested that newborns recognize the theme song from their mother’s favorite soap opera. More recent studies have expanded on the idea of fetal learning, indicating that newborns already familiarized themselves with sounds of their parent’s native language; one showed that American newborns seem to perceive Swedish vowel sounds as unfamiliar, sucking on a high-tech pacifier to hear more of the new sounds. Swedish infants showed the same response to English vowels.

Artie Davis - 5 Essential Tools for Every Productive Pastor
1- Electronic Bible reading (You Version)
2- Automated prayer list (Prayer Notebook)
3- Portable calendar (iCal)
4- Task management (Things)
5- Document management (Evernote)

Even the West Wing is against taxing the rich in the name of "fairness."

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