Monday, 23 May 2011

Around the Blogosphere

A few days ago, British physicist Stephen Hawking said that heaven is a fairy story. That comment was of course picked up by the media - more interested in sensationalism than facts - all over the world, and paired with outraged statements from religious leaders. But, as this review of Hawking's latest book, The Grand Design, says, it's old news. Hawking's absolutely brilliant in theoretical physics. But he never has believed in God or the supernatural world. He's always been a standard, predictable naturalist. Which means he, like other dogmatic atheists, simply doesn't engage with the question of whether God exists, because he "knows" that he doesn't. So when he says heaven is a fairy story, the proper response isn't to argue, but to yawn.

Leadership Journal has an article on the problem of youth groups watering down the gospel and effectively becoming child-minding with pizza: The Red Bull Gospel. The result? The young people are never really converted, and when they grow up, they find more interesting things to do than east pizza. I read the same thesis twenty years ago in No Guts, No Glory: How to build a youth ministry that lasts, by Ken Moser, Ed Vaughan and Al Stewart.

Over at Theology & Culture, Aaron Rathbun has a very good post on how we're amusing ourselves to death.

And at The Bible and Interpretation, Thomas Verenna has an excellent (if lengthy) article criticising the recent media furore over the supposed "lead codices". He's lays out some pretty damning evidence of the "complete lack of journalistic integrity, honest research, and thorough fact-checking".

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