Monday, November 29, 2010

Large Hadron Collider and Competitive Collaboration

Sounds like ecclesiology.  Article

do even centered sets have "issues"?

1)From an abstract of a paper by Ryan McAnally-Linz: “The Problem of the Contested Center”:

....Centered-set ecclesiology does not, however, come without its own complications.
 Chief among these is what I term‘the problem of the contested center’. Put simply,
 the center toward which a community orients itself has to have some
 content in order to be meaningful, and community members may well agree on
 the name of the center (e.g., ‘Jesus’)  while disagreeing about its content. For
 centered-set Christian communities, this problem is inescapable. Because such
 communities claim to be oriented toward a person, and because persons are
 inherently mysterious, the center of those
 communities always remains in some sense surprising and unpredictable. 
Moreover, because humans are finite, our knowledge (even our knowledge of Jesus) 
is always finite, making incompleteness and error in our understanding inevitable.
In response to the problem of the contested center, I offer several counsels for
 churches that think in the terms of 
centered-set ecclesiology. First, the task of wrestling with the problem is an
 ongoing process of discernment, not a simple matter of logical deduction.
 Second, centered-set communities must seek to foster truthfulness as a way
 of life in order to mitigate the problems that arise from self-ignorance and
 self-deception in the pursuit of the common center. Third, this process of 
discernment should be a community process in which a prima facie
 commitment to remain in community in spite of disagreement is the rule.
 Fourth and finally, the community
 discernment process should return repeatedly to the foundational stories
 of its faith because Scripture is the
 most reliable witness we have to the character of the person who we
 want to make the center of our life together.

2)Related: centered-set reductionism discussed by  Jonathan Leeman here.

3)Also: Does Los Angeles have
 a center?
Read this


4)One more: centered sets with moving center

Cultural Intelligence and Centered Sets

I bought the book at a Christian bookstore...and had no idea what huge influence this seminary prof (That he is one is not even mentioned on his website) has in  "secular" leadership and business circles.  And not in a cheap and cheesy CEO kind of way, or as in sneaky stealth evangelism.  He's all about culture, cross0cultural sensitivity...and "C.I." (Cultural Intelligence).

I am in favor of that.  We need more of that than we do culture wars.


No wonder the book was on the discount rack at the Christian bookstore(:

Great book:"Cultural Intelligence: Improving Your CQ to Engage Our Multicultural World" by David Livermore (a seminary prof and a "cultural communicator", his website here)

 First several pages a  free read here,  and amazon has a few more pages, including the self-assessment at the end), but the real gift of the book is Part 3: great chapters on church, culture  and attribution theory.... and (finally someone has done it!) a whole chapter on bounded and centered sets, which he calls "logic sets"..Yes, he draws from Paul Hiebert.

Of course he has written on the same topic (cultural intelligence) for a general market leadership audience: "Leading with Cultural Intelligence",  (as well as in a Forbes article, etc.

Videos for general audience below:

Morons and Idio(ms)ts

click here

"A Graphic Guide to Facebook Portraits"

Check out Fast Company's "A Graphic Guide to Facebook Portraits"
(complete at this link).
Click graphic (and the click again to enlarge) for preview..
or just click this..
HT: St. Bryan

Click Pastoral Narcissism
  to see one reason I love this article (:

Telling someone makes it less likely to happen

Derel Selivers at TED (video below): "Telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen,”
See Adam Steward's response( here) "Telling someone your faith makes it less likely to happen".
(HT: Bryan's amazing blog)

How to plant a church

How to plant a church:

How to invite people to church:

planting worship services, or moving into a neighborhood?

HT Bryan

CA Invitation from Christian Associates on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bono and synesthesia

Bono has long talked about looking for new colors in music, but watching this (4:30  mark), he really sounds like he's got synesthesia (see posts on that topic below)'s a a fairly common form of it where the listener hears/sees notes as colors..
of course, "Jesus had holy synesthesia and wants to infect us with it:

(Note: sometimes the embed below is not working great, so you can also watch it here..2nd video)

Time: just another app?

"A New Wrinkle in Time: With the decline of the wristwatch, will time become just another app?"

By Matthew Battles, Atlantic Monthly:
Who wears a wristwatch anymore? Although luxury mechanical watches remain status symbols, time may be running out for the clock you wear. For a generation with smart phones and other networked devices readily at hand, the utility of the classic timepiece is unclear. “The Beloit College Mindset List,” a much-cited annual index of the rapid pace of cultural drift in the digital age, observes that members of the college class of 2014 are so unfamiliar with the wristwatch that “they’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.” Yup, that’s your wrist, old-timer. Touch of arthritis?

Westerners have long been keenly interested in horology, as...
Continued here

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ellul: The Humiliation of the Word

INTRO to The Humiliation of the Word  below, full book here

William Gibson: The Future Is Now

"William Gibson: The Future Is Now"--
In William Gibson's first novel, 1984's Neuromancer, he coined the term "cyberspace" and introduced us to the concept of a computer-generated reality that became the movie "The Matrix." Now Gibson is back with another sci-fi tale:"  HT: David Dark

mysteries or nonsense?

"To say that God hates sin while secretly willing it,
 to say that God warns us not to fall away though it is impossible,
 to say that God loves the world while excluding most people from an opportunity of salvation,
 to say that God warmly invites sinners to come knowing all the while that they cannot possibly do so
--such things do not deserve to be called mysteries when that is just a euphemism for nonsense."
-Clark Pinnock

Adults Go Wild Over Latest In Children's Picture Book Series

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Andy Crouch: innovation>risk>Trust

"Real innovation requires risk, which requires trust, says journalist and author Andy Crouch. And trust, he adds, doesn't happen without love. Read the full interview here."  Video excerpt below:

The Divine Dance

Monday, November 22, 2010

Video: Dawkins vs. Craig

Killing the Buddha, an important website to visit, tips us off to some interesting news.

...You may not be as big a fan of debates about the existence of God as I am (I’m writing a whole book about them), but maybe, anyway you care enough to appreciate that there was big news in that department this past week.
William Lane Craig, if you don’t know him, is the most fearsome and effective God-debater on the God-side. He’s in no uncertain terms a conservative Evangelical, to which he converted from atheism as a teenager. All through high school and college he was on the debate squad, so even before writing the most-discussed book in philosophy of religion of the past few decades (The Kalam Cosmological Argument), he was already a rhetorical force to contend with.
Last week I had the chance to spend some time with him (among many other leading lights) at the Evangelical Philosophical Society meeting in Atlanta, as well as at the EPS’s Apologetics Conference for 1,500 ordinary folks at Craig’s own Johnson Ferry Baptist Church—pastored by Bryant Wright, recently elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Craig and I were barely finished with our handshake when he began exclaiming that he’d just gotten back from Mexico City where he debated (sort of) Richard Dawkins, the great arch-New Atheist!
This is a super big deal for God-debate junkies. Ever since the Young Earth creationism days, Dawkins has refused to engage in these debates, on the logic that doing so lends unfair legitimacy to his idiotic opposition. But he did it this time! Apparently it was some kind of accident whereby he had to substitute at the last minute for someone else.
Beforehand, Dawkins and Craig encountered each other in the green room. Craig, as is characteristic, tells the story flamboyantly, imitating the British accent he must’ve mastered during his years doing doctoral work at the University of Birmingham. He says he said to Dawkins something like, “I look forward to an interesting discussion”—to which Dawkins curtly replied, “I very seriously doubt it.”
“The guy is so rude, I’m telling you!” I heard Doug Geivett banter a few minutes later. Geivett was also on Craig’s side in the D.F. debate and teaches with him at Biola’s Talbot School of Theology. Geivett and the group of philosophers gathered around him then went around guessing what in Dawkins’ psycho-biography made him so angry in the first place. 
 -Nathan Schneider, in Killing the Buddha

Here's the whole debate on video..officially it's called  Debate: Does the Universe have a purpose?: Los orgines del future (The origin of teh future) and

Matt Ridley, Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins
Rabbi David Wolpe, William Lane Craig, Douglas Geivett

...but note it also includes a response by Michio Kaku at the end  (1:07ff).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Jesus will return May 21st 2011"

Now we know what day he WON"t return (:

Local news video....including quote from Harold Camping, who is "so sure of it [Jesus will return May 21st 2011.] I'm sticking my neck out every night."

Too bad they spelled Tim Geddert's name wromg..

Larry Crabb video on male/female friendships

Mike Morrell comments:
"I'm sure Dr. Crabb doesn't intend this, but I hear a lot of sex-negativity underlying his overall message about male-female friendships (which he intends to be positive). It's kind've a rehash of the old saw, "Sex is filthy, so save it for someone you love." By contrasting "loving a woman for her soul" versus her femininity, he kind've sets up cross-gender friends in a more exalted and 'spiritually pure' space than spouses!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bootleg! The New NIV Policy on Inclusive Language

-Ben Witherington has helpfully posted a  hot leaked document(:
It's a section of the intro to the new NIV translation (coming next year) about inclusive language.

This is not quite as exciting as the leaking of U2's  stolen "Mercy"   (or various "beach clips" of "No Line" recorded outside Bono's house...or this treasure trove)  a few years ago etc...but it ranks up there(:

Here's my previous post on this topic.
Enjoy the bootleg below...but don't tell God you saw it here..........

What Was Decided About Inclusive Language?:
(excerpt from the New NIV Intro).
Nowhere in the updated NIV (nor in the TNIV, nor in any of the committee discussions leading up to either version) is there even the remotest hint of any inclusive language for God. The revisions solely surround inclusive language for mankind.

All previous Bible translation efforts have been hampered by the lack of accurate, statistically significant data on the state of spoken and written English at a given time in its history. Beyond appealing to traditional style guides, all that translators and stylists have been able to do is rely on their own experiences and others' anecdotal evidence,
resulting in arguments such as, ‟I never see anybody writing such-and-such," or ‟I always hear such-andsuch," or ‟Sometimes I read one thing but other times something else."

As part of the review of gender language promised at the September 2009 update announcement, the committee sought to remove some of this subjectivity by enlisting the help of experts. The committee initiated a relationship with Collins Dictionaries to use the Collins Bank of English, one of the world's foremost English language
research tools, to conduct a major new study of changes in gender language. The Bank of English is a database of more than 4.4 billion words drawn from text publications and spoken word recordings from all over the world.

Working with some of the world's leading experts in computational linguistics and using cutting-edge techniques developed specifically for this project, the committee gained an authoritative, and hitherto unavailable, perspective on the contemporary use of gender language -- including terms for the human race and subgroups of the
human race, pronoun selections following various words and phrases, the use of ‟man" as a singular generic and the use of ‟father(s)" and ‟forefather(s)" as compared to ancestor(s). The project tracked usage and acceptability
for each word and phrase over a twenty-year period and also analyzed similarities and differences across different forms of English: for example, UK English, US English, written English, spoken English, and even the English used in a wide variety of evangelical books, sermons and internet sites.

Research of this type is just one tool in the hands of translators, and, of course, it has no bearing on the challenge of preserving transparency to the original text. But hearing God's Word the way it was written is only one part of the NIV's overall mission. If readers are to understand it in the way it was meant, translators need to express the unchanging truths of the Bible in forms of language that modern English speakers find natural and easy to
comprehend. And this is where a tool like the Bank of English comes into its own.
The most significant findings that influenced decision making for the updated NIV were:

• The gender-neutral pronoun ‟they" (‟them"/‟their") is by far the most common way
that English-language speakers and writers today refer back to singular antecedents
such as ‟whoever," ‟anyone," ‟somebody," ‟a person," ‟no one," and the like. Even
in Evangelical sermons and books, where the generic ‟he," ‟him" and ‟his" are preserved more frequently than in other forms of communication, instances of what grammarians are increasingly calling the ‟singular they" (‟them" or ‟their") appear three times more frequently than generic masculine forms. In other words, most English speakers today express themselves in sentences like these: ‟No one who rooted for the Chicago Cubs to be in a World Series in the last sixty years got their wish. They were disappointed time and time again," or ‟The person who eats too many hot dogs in too short a period of time is likely to become sick to their stomach." It is interesting to observe that this development is a throwback to a usage of English that existed prior to the solidification of the generic ‟he" as the only ‟proper" usage during the nineteenth century in Victorian England. Even the KJV occasionally used expressions like ‟ . . . let each esteem other better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3). For that matter, so did the Greek New Testament! In James
2:15-16, the Greek for ‟a brother or sister" (adelphos ē adelphē) is followed by plural verbs
and predicate adjectives and referred back to with autois (‟them").

• English speakers around the world are using a variety of terms to refer to men and
women together and for the human race collectively. Plural words such as ‟people,"
‟human beings," and ‟humans" are very widely used. When it comes to terms that focus on humans in a collective sense, ‟man," ‟mankind," ‟humanity," and ‟the human race" are all being used.

• ‟Forefather" has all but disappeared from the English language as a generic term,
being replaced by ‟ancestor." Even in Evangelical sermons and writings, ‟ancestor" is
more than twice as common as ‟forefather." In the light of these and other findings, the committee adopted a set of guidelines to be applied during the NIV
update process in cases where the original Greek and Hebrew texts clearly indicate an intended application to mixed groups of men and women and not just to individual men (or women) or groups of men (or women). None of these principles was applied inflexibly. How a specific usage sounded in a given context or how that context made it likely to be read was always taken into consideration. But, in general, much more often than not:

• Using plurals instead of singulars to deal with generic forms was avoided. Except
for some instances where all alternatives proved awkward or potentially misleading, singular
nouns or substantive participles in the biblical languages were translated with singular
nouns or noun equivalents in English (‟The one who. . . ," ‟the person who. . . ,"
‟whoever. . . ," and the like).

• Using second person forms instead of third person forms to deal with generics
was avoided. In other words, the translation does not read, ‟You who have this-or-that
should do such-and-such," to avoid saying ‟He who has this-or-that should do such-and such." The exception to this rule was when a second person form was already present in the immediate context and it would be poor English style not to preserve it throughout.
For example, addressing a mixed-gender audience, we would say, ‟If any of you has your car on campus, may I get a ride home?" rather than ‟If any of you has his (or their) car on campus, may I get a ride home?"

• Singular ‟they," ‟them" and ‟their" forms were widely used to communicate the generic
significance of pronouns and their equivalents when a singular form had already
been used for the antecedent. For example, ‟Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them" (Mark 4:25); ‟How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them. . . ?" (Hebrews 10:29); or ‟Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check" (James 3:2b). At the same time, recognizing the diversity in modern English, a generic ‟he" was occasionally retained: ‟If I have rejoiced at my enemy's misfortune or gloated over the trouble that came to him . . ." (Job 31:29).

• ‟People" and ‟humans" (and ‟human beings") were widely used for Greek and Hebrew masculine forms referring to both men and women. A variety of words -- ‟humanity,"
‟human race," ‟man," ‟mankind" -- were used to refer to human beings
collectively. As we noted above, modern English uses a variety of terms to refer to human
beings collectively; and the committee decided to imitate that diversity in the translation,
determining which expression fit best in each specific context. In making the decision
whether to use ‟man" or ‟mankind," the committee often preferred the latter for the sake of clarity. ‟Man" can mean either ‟the human race" or ‟an individual (male) human being," and when a follow-up pronoun is required, the pronoun must be ‟he," creating the potential for misunderstanding. ‟Mankind," on the other hand, can only mean humanity as a whole, and the follow-up pronoun can be an inclusive ‟they." 

Nevertheless, the updated NIV often uses ‟man," particularly in memorable and/or proverbial phrases: for example, ‟The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). Examples of texts that now have
‟mankind" where they didn't before include: ‟Let us make mankind in our image" (Genesis 1:26a); ‟Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12); and ‟For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).

• ‟Ancestors" was regularly preferred to ‟forefathers" unless a specific, limited reference to the patriarchs or to another all-male group is intended.

• ‟Brothers and sisters" was frequently used to translate adelphoi in the New Testament, especially in the vocative, when it was clear that both genders were in
view. This decision reflects the consensus view among scholars (and with basis in the
dictionaries) that plural adelphoi refers to both men and women equally. Footnotes now
often appear, explaining that ‟the Greek word for 'brothers and sisters' (adelphoi) refers to
believers, both men and women, as part of God's family."
While some uses of ‟believers" were retained from the TNIV where ‟brothers and sisters" became too awkward, many were replaced by ‟brothers and sisters" to retain the familial
connotations of adelphoi.

• While the Greek word anēr (‟man" or ‟person") was frequently translated with masculine forms in English, it is clear in several contexts that the word refers to men
and women equally (an option endorsed by major dictionaries of the Greek NT). The
parallelism between James 1:7 and 8 suggests that anthrōpos and anēr are synonyms;
hence, ‟That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." In Acts, expressions addressing mixed-gender audiences such as ‟Fellow Israelites" (for andres Israēlitai) accurately capture the sense of the Greek. In Acts 17:22 andres Athēnaioi cannot be rendered, ‟Fellow Athenians," because Paul was not from Athens. But ‟people of Athens" works well, especially since verse 34 shows that at least one woman, Damaris, was among those explicitly addressed.

As we have said, none of these principles was implemented rigidly without sensitivity to the context and cadence of individual verses. How clusters of words sounded when read aloud, what meaning the immediate context of any given passage contributed to a translational debate and what would communicate the original author's intentions
most clearly were always taken into account.

What Happened to Some of the Most Famous Texts on Gender Roles?
Almost nothing has changed in the translation of the majority of these texts from the 1984 NIV to the updated NIV. But the careful reader will notice a few differences. Most notable perhaps are:
• Romans 16:1-2 now reads, ‟I commend to you our sister, Phoebe, a deacon [diakonos] of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor [prostatis] of many people, including me." Complementarian and egalitarian scholars alike
are increasingly agreeing that diakonos here means ‟deacon" (not just ‟servant," though‟servant" is provided as an alternative in the footnote; see also the New Living Translation [NLT] and the New Revised Standard Version [NRSV]) and that prostatis means a patron or benefactor (as in the English Standard Version [ESV] and the Holman Christian Standard Bible [HCSB]), not just someone who was a ‟great help" in some unspecified way. But, because different churches use labels for offices or leadership roles in so many, sometimes conflicting, senses, a footnote now explains that ‟deacon refers to a Christiandesignated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways."

• 1 Corinthians 11:10 now reads, ‟It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head." The expression ‟a sign of" before ‟authority" in the 1984 NIV did not correspond to anything explicitly in the Greek and is increasingly recognized as an inadequate rendition of this verse. Whether Paul wanted the women in Corinth to wear
an external head covering while praying or prophesying, or simply to have long hair, or
maybe even to wear a partial face veil, the point is they should be able to control what they
do or do not have on their heads.

• 1 Timothy 2:12 now reads, ‟I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man." Much debate has surrounded the rare Greek word authentein, translated in the
1984 NIV as ‟exercise authority." The KJV reflected what some have argued was in some contexts a more negative sense for the word: ‟usurp authority." ‟Assume authority" is a particularly nice English rendering because it leaves the question open, as it must be unless we discover new, more conclusive evidence. The exercise of authority that Paul was forbidding was one that women inappropriately assumed, but whether that referred to all forms of authority over men in church or only certain forms in certain contexts is up to the individual interpreter to decide. Footnotes to verses 11 and 12 also inform the reader that anēr and gunē here could mean ‟husband" and ‟wife" rather than ‟man" and ‟woman."

• 1 Timothy 3:11 now reads, ‟In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything." A footnote adds, ‟Possibly deacons' wives or women who are deacons." The Greek root word is gunē, which most commonly means simply a ‟woman." From the context, it is possible that these women were either deacons' wives or women deacons, but neither can be demonstrated from the word alone. The old American Standard Version (ASV), the New American Standard Bibl(NASB), the New American Bible (NAB) and the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) all adopt this translation as well.
-Intro to the New NIV