[This started out as a comment on facebook that I then expanded into a post there. I decided I could expand it a bit more and post it here as well].
BYUtv’s new sci-fi series (free on BYUtv’s app, no registration required) is, so far, pretty strong. It is not great (though it is fairly good). There is plenty to complain about if you want to go that route (the acting talent is uneven, the pacing is too slow at times, some shots linger a little too long, green screen backgrounds are a little too obvious, dialogue is occasionally on the nose), but given that this is a small, independent production with a limited budget from what is essentially a regional TV station, it exceeds expectations. Continue reading
From N.T. Wright, an Anglican theologian and our modern day C.S. Lewis:
A footnote on sexual behaviour in Paul’s world. If one looks at the ancient world there is of course evidence of same-sex behaviour in many contexts and settings. But it is noticeable that the best-known evidence comes from the high imperial days of Athens on the one hand and the high imperial days of Rome on the other (think of Nero, and indeed Paul may have been thinking of Nero). I have argued elsewhere against the view that Paul was quiescent politically, that he held a strong implicit and sometimes explicit critique of pagan empire in general and of Rome in particular; and clearly denunciation of pagan sexual behaviour was part of that (e.g. Philippians 3.19– 21).
I just wonder if there is any mileage in cultural analysis of homosexual behaviour as a feature of cultures which themselves multiply and degenerate in the way that great empires are multiply degenerate, with money flowing in, arrogance and power flowing out, systemic violence on the borders and systematic luxury at the centre. Part of that imperial arrogance in our own day, I believe, is the insistence that we, the empire, the West, America, or wherever, are in a position to tell the societies that we are already exploiting in a thousand different ways that they should alter their deep-rooted moralities to accommodate our newly invented ones. There is something worryingly imperial about the practice itself and about the insistence on everybody else endorsing it. It is often said that the poor want justice while the rich want peace. We now have a situation where two-thirds of the world wants debt relief and one-third wants sex. That is, I think, a tell-tale sign that something is wrong at a deep structural level.
Wright, N. T.. Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978-2013 (p. 267). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.
There is a popular post booming on social media that summarizes a book by Nicholas P. Lunn. Lunn argues the current ending of Mark (everything after 16:8) really is original to Mark (against the clear scholarly consensus) and that the scholars who argue that Mark either ends at 16:8 or the ending was lost are just wrong.
Review of Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand by Thomas F. Rogers.
Part of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship’s “Living Faith” series.
In his Foreword to this Book, Terryl L. Givens states he wants to “get out of the way and let you the reader get on with” reading the book rather than waste time with an introduction. I feel much the same way: Just read this book, and forget about this book review.