Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Wow! It's quite some time since I last posted. Over the last few days my free time has largely been occupied checking dissertations and theses for friends and attending meetings. I did sit down and start to write a long post against Mariolatry a few days ago. Unfortunately I was not able to get it completed and decided that I would leave it unfinished for the time being. Perhaps some time I will sit down and work on it again, when the mood takes me. I did get to watch Babette's Feast for the first time last week. It was such an amazing film that I just have to see it again as soon as possible. I have read Philip Yancey's What's So Amazing About Grace? and Leon Kass' The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfection of our Nature, both of which outline the story of the film at length, so the plot was not a surprise to me. Nonetheless, the film still profoundly moved me. I just finished reading John Howard Yoder's classic, The Politics of Jesus, a book which I will undoubtedly return to on a number of occasions over the coming years. Whilst I may not always agree with Yoder (or his great fan, Stanley Hauerwas) I am always better off for having read him. I am also taking the opportunity to reread Wright's The New Testament and the People of God during my lunch breaks at work. I have read this book a couple of times already and have studied some parts in detail. However, I have set myself to reread all of Wright's major material before the end of the summer. I have been exposing myself to Brian McLaren's work, A Generous Orthodoxy, for the first time. I might post some thoughts on the subject when I have time again (i.e. not for another week or so). I have also been reading Hendrick Stander and Johannes Louw's book, Baptism in the Early Church, which is by far the best argument for the 'Baptist' reading of the development of the rite of Baptism in the early Church that I have come across. Whilst I do not find their position entirely persuasive, I strongly recommend that those who hold to paedobaptism read it and interact with it. At the very least, it will show that the historical record is quite a bit more complex than some apologists for paedobaptism would like it to be. Peter Leithart's essay from The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism, "Infant Baptism in History: An Unfinished Tragicomedy" gives a more balanced paedobaptist reading of this history. Jeremias' Infant Baptism in the First Four Centuries is also worth reading, even though it is not without its fair share of flaws. I have also been reading, at the suggestion of one of my cousins, Jiddu Krishnamurti's Beginnings of Learning (we exchanged books: I gave him a basic introduction to Derrida). It is the first encounter that I have had with Krishnamurti's work. I don't have any knowledge about Krishnamurti, the Theosophical Society and a whole host of other things connected to the work. Is anyone able to enlighten me on this issue? I have also been reading Marva Dawn's Sexual Character: Beyond Technique to Intimacy. It isn't bad, but I have read or heard a lot of what she says elsewhere, either in one of her Regent Radio talks, or in another of her books. She also tends to rely quite heavily on other writers at certain points of her argument. In Unfettered Hope, for example, the first few chapters of her book were heavily dependent on Albert Borgmann and Jacques Ellul. Whilst Dawn's material is good, one often feels that one would prefer to be reading Stanley Hauerwas, Richard Hays or any of the other writers she makes use of first hand. To the extent that Dawn serves as a popularizer for their work, I suppose there is cause to be thankful.