Modern Pensées

Reconsidering theology, philosophy, culture, economics, and politics

Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Prothero

Best Links of the Week

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Adding a third dimension to the debate over video venue churches is hologram technology.  The technology now exists and is being marketed to the 3000+ video venue churches so that the Pastor can preach at other venues in 3D.  Your thoughts?

John Wooden TED Talk.

New Military underwear to monitor heart rate/vitals and administer drugs/pain meds.

A 52  year old California construction worker was arrested in Northern Pakistan on one man mission to kill Osama bin Laden.  He had a 40″ sword, night vision goggles, and a pistol.  He was confident of the success of his mission because, “God is with him.”

Rent a White Guy in China.

The Church of Football.

Some interesting scenarios of the coming mega-conferences in NCAA sports.

Here are some wordles for common church names in the U.S.

The U.S. finds $1,000,000,000,000 worth of metals in Afghanistan.  This substantially complicates the future of Afghanistan.

The Euro to reach parity with the Dollar in 2011.

Some interesting thoughts on the impact of technology on missions.

Some thoughts on God and Soccer.

Nice interview with Stephen Prothero on Religion and Pluralism.

WSJ analysis of economic pitfalls in 2011.

Saudi Arabia gives green light to Israel to use airspace in strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Publishing company places disclaimer on the U.S. Constitution saying, “might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.”

Is the internet making us impatient and compulsive?

Lego re-creations of famous photographs.

114,000 Apple iPads compromised by AT&T.  (HT: Greg)

USA Today:  “Protestant Pastor in the Job Hunt?  Good Luck in this Market

Some amazing photos of baby animals inside the womb.

Please don’t ever do this at your church:

HT:  A Little Leaven

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Why the Final Episode of LOST was so Frustrating

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I feel like I’ve got to get this out of my system to justify spending 6 seasons watching a compelling narrative only to be severely disappointed.  WARNING, this will contain spoilers, read on at your own risk.

There were two things that were compelling about the LOST narrative:  it’s characters and it’s mythology.   I believe that humans are hard-wired for stories.  The most compelling stories are stories that illuminate some aspect of the Biblical storyline of creation-fall-redemption-re-creation.  LOST focused heavily on the brokenness, alienation, and self-destructive patterns of its characters/candidates.  We can empathize with the fallen condition of these characters – sons that didn’t measure up to their overly-expectant/deceptive/abusive fathers, addiction, purposelessness, and low self-esteem.  We can empathize with the arcing of their characters as they realize their brokenness is due to a lack of community and that when we ask for help, redemption comes.

My frustration with the LOST narrative is its re-creation (I am not prepared to speculate about whether the flash-sideways end state of most of the characters is purgatory, a kind of heaven, or some sort of eternal recurrence, so no comments there).   The fallen condition was redeemed through community and I was tracking with the arc of the storyline until the re-creation narrative (the final 10 minutes of the show).   One of the things I have thoroughly enjoyed throughout LOST has been its intelligence and inter-textuality, continually making reference to excellent works of literature and philosophy.  I share the same love for many of the authors referenced:  Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, Fyodor Dostoevsky, C.S. Lewis, and Søren Kierkegaard.  However, if the writers had even a cursory understanding of these writers (or philosophy in general), they would quickly dismiss the blatant syncretism of their own re-creation narrative.  Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University, dismembers the ‘One God, Many Paths’ sentiment of our day, showing that it is reductionistic and dangerous to pretend we are all the same.  The quality of dialogue between Jack and his father was poor, the imagery was trite and reductionistic, and the final montage cliche.

My two cents, feel free to disagree with me…

Best Links of the Week

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Stephen Prothero, religion Professor at Boston University, deconstructs the reductionistic idea that all religions are fundamentally they same.

Amazing composite picture of the most recent solar eclipse.  Note the detail on the moon and the magnetic affect on the solar flares emanating from the sun.

Apparently, Google Streetview is also logging your Wifi information and MAC addresses.  This is not good if you care at all about privacy.  I certainly hope they reconsider publishing this information later this year.

10 Strangest Alternative Safes.

Stephen Hawking presents argumentation that belief in aliens is rational, mathematical.  If I affirmed macroevolution, I think I would be in agreement with Hawking on this point.

Incredible photos from Iceland and the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

Andy Crouch (Culture Making) reviews James Daveson Hunter’s new book, “To Change the World

The Washington Times on “Financial Fascism

How Goldman Sachs Screwed Ghana”  Goldman Sachs has a number of folks in the Obama administration:  Gary Gensler (Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission); Mark Patterson (former Goldman lobbyist and Chief of Staff to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner); Robert Hormats (Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs); Stephen Friedman (former COO and Chairman of the Board of Goldman Sachs [he still sits on the board] now Chairman of the United State’s Presidents Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board); Henry Paulson (former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former Treasury Secretary, and chief architect of the nationalization of crappy securitized debt).  It should be noted that George W. Bush had deep relationships with Goldman Sachs.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) skewering a Goldman Sachs Executive on one of Goldman Sach’s self-proclaimed “shitty deals,” it happened to be some CDOs: 

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