Daily Archives: 20 Feb 2017

The Myth of the Meritocracy

Elite universities don’t offer poor and working-class students class mobility — they maintain a rigid class hierarchy.

That’s the thesis of this well written and well argued essay.

In light of a recent report examining the concentration of wealthy students in American universities, calling Northwestern an incubator for middle-class renewal seems disingenuous. The report revealed that most college students at elite universities come from the upper echelon of American society. In fact, thirty-eight institutions enroll more students from the top 1 percent than students from the bottom 60 percent.

Obama’s embrace of higher education — long touted by Democratic politicians as the key to a good, stable life — ignores the class dynamics at selective, high-tuition universities and reflects liberals’ silence around class issues more generally. At a time when most poor students can’t afford tuition at even underfunded public universities, this claim rings especially hollow. The United States’ elite universities aren’t engines for meritocratic uplift — they preserve and reproduce inequality.

All completely true.  Etc., which do enjoy so give it a look, especially if you’re an Academic.

Dale Martin May be From Yale, But He’s Dead Wrong

Dale Martin rejects the idea that there is a “correct” way to interpret Biblical passages. That might make some Christians uncomfortable, but Martin says the idea of unequivocal Biblical interpretation is a relatively new concept and not reflective of the religion’s long history.

There is in fact a correct way to read Scripture.  Do you know who hasn’t believed that in the history of Christianity?  Every heretic and heterodox.

“You never think about reading a poem, looking only for what the poet was trying to say,” Martin told WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth. “You can’t listen to the Moonlight Sonata and think there’s only one meaning of that music. So we’ve kind of crippled ourselves when we think that’s what we’re supposed to do with the Bible.”

Apples and oranges, Dale.  Apples and oranges.  Scripture isn’t a sonata nor is it a poem.  It’s authors had an intent that was quite specific and to suggest otherwise is the path that has been taken by every person who has ever twisted Scripture to meet their own agenda.

In that sense, meaning comes not from the Bible’s written words, but from the readers – something Martin says is already creating a cultural shift in the way believers worship, cultivate values and practice their faith.

Poor Dale.  Still riding the coattails of reader-response criticism.  But it died a terrible death at the same time that semiotics did.

Dale used to be smart.  I’m sure at some level he still is.  But he has imbibed too deeply of his pet hermeneutic and he’s lost the plot.  I hope he recovers.

Emergent Snowflakes, Take Note

There can be no greater mistake than to suppose that Jesus ever separated theology from ethics. – Machen

And he’s absolutely right. There is no Christian ethic apart from theology. No authentic or meaningful ethic that is.

Gutenberg’s Bible Online

La Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) a mis en ligne la Bible de Gutenberg. Disponibles sur son site Gallica depuis fin janvier 2017, deux exemplaires imprimés sur vélin et sur papier sont entièrement numérisés en haute définition, rapporte le site Evangelical Focus.

Seuls quatre exemplaires complets de l’impression sur vélin existent encore dans le monde. De plus, l’exemplaire complet sur papier de la BNF comporte une annotation manuscrite d’un intérêt historique majeur le datant de 1456.

Première Bible imprimée dans les années 1450, la Bible de Gutenberg reprend la traduction latine de la Vulgate. Elle est considérée comme le livre le plus important de l’histoire de l’Europe. En effet, elle a ouvert le chemin à la Réforme protestante et à diffusion du savoir par l’imprimerie.

Check it out here.

Peter Opitz on Huldrych Zwingli: The Interview

opitzTragen Sie mit Hinweisen zu diesem Artikel bei oder melden Sie uns Fehler. Sie haben sich intensiv mit der Reformationszeit beschäftigt. Würden Sie gerne eine Zeitreise ins Zürich vor 500 Jahren machen?

Ich würde mich sehr gerne in die Zeit von Zwingli versetzen lassen, allerdings nur mit einem Retourticket in der Tasche. Das Leben war härter, Krankheiten und Armut plagten die Leute. Es wäre aber toll, mit Zwingli oder auch Bullinger, den grossen Zürcher Reformatoren, zu sprechen. Sie stehen am Ursprung einer der beiden bedeutendsten Ereignisse der europäischen Geschichte, nämlich der Reformation. Die zweite grosse Umwälzung war dann schon die Zeit der Aufklärung.

Read it all.

The Stupidest Question That Has Ever Been Asked in the History of Christianity

Is this one: Can Tom Wright save Christianity?

No. And Christianity doesn’t need saving and if it did it already has a Lord and his name isn’t Tom Wright its Jesus. You would think a Baptist, of all people, would know that. Evidently not.

The gospel Wright talks about costs everything, but for young men and women who want Jesus but are dismayed by most of his current followers, the more costly article is deeply attractive. Will these people gather themselves into conventional churches? Are conventional churches even capable of embracing a gospel this radical?

Likely not. But the leavening influence of Wright’s big idea can already be felt in our churches (whether people have heard of Tom Wright or not). Growing numbers of evangelical and post-evangelical Christians have discovered an alternative to the thin gruel of American spirituality, and that should make us very happy.

If we’re idiots who are willing to adopt a ‘gospel’ the Galatians would have loved, sure. But not if we’re Christians.  One thing, though, is true- when it comes to being a sycophant of Wright, Alan Bean is in the sycophant league of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.  And that’s saying something.

The New Semester Commences

Best wishes to all our Ming Hua students for a great semester filled with learning and personal growth.