Arhivele lunare: Martie 2009

David Bentley Hart’s new book

I gladly announce David Bentley Hart’s new book, ”Atheist Delusions. The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies” that John Milbank says will leave the New Atheists with no other option than to “repent and rejoice at the discreditation of their erstwhile selves.” The commendations below hint at a momentous book of great erudition, one couldn’t have expected otherwise from Hart, that will strike a powerful blow to the New Atheist’s already sinking boat. The book is published by Yale University Press and will be out, well, Monday, 30th of March.

“With impressive erudition and polemical panache, David Hart smites hip and thigh the peddlers of a ‘new atheism’ that recycles hoary arguments from the past. His grim assessment of our cultural moment challenges the hope that ‘the Christian revolution’ could happen again.”—Richard John Neuhaus, former editor in chief of First Things

“Provoked by and responding to the standard-bearers of ‘the New Atheism’, this original and intellectually impressive work deftly demolishes their mythical account of ‘the rise of modernity.’ Hart argues instead that the genuinely humane values of modernity have their historic roots in Christianity.”—Geoffrey Wainwright, Duke Divinity School

„In this learned, provocative, and sophisticated book, Hart presents a frontal challenge to today’s myopic caricature of the culture and religion that existed in previous centuries.”—Robert Louis Wilken, University of Virginia

“Surely Dawkins, Hitchens et al would never have dared put pen to paper had they known of the existence of David Bentley Hart. After this demolition-job all that is left for them to do is repent and rejoice at the discreditation of their erstwhile selves.”—John Milbank, author of Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology

“A devastating dissection of the ‘new atheism,’ a timely reminder of the fact that ‘no Christianity’ would have meant ‘no West,’ and a rousing good read. David Hart is one of America’s sharpest minds, and this is Hart in full, all guns firing and the band playing on the deck.”—George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington

The journey from the Renaissance to the postmodern man

Here’s a humorous yet sobering Ravi Zacharias illustration from part 1 of his message entitled „Engaging Culture with Conversations that Count”:

„Two Australian sailors who had arrived in London went into a bar that night, and drank themselves rather silly.  Walked out of that bar room uneasy on their feet and walked into a dense English fog.  Unable to find out where they were, wobbling on their feet, they wanted to get some directions when they saw a man coming in.  Unknown to them was a highly decorated English Naval officer with medals on his chest and so on. But these two Aussies, now silly drunk, walked out, looked towards him and said: “Say ‘ya bloke, can you tell us where we are?”  And the naval officer, rather offended, said, “Do you know men know who I am?” At which point one Aussie said to the other, “We are really in a mess now.  We don’t know where we are and he doesn’t know who he is.”  – That is the journey from the Renaissance to the postmodern man.”

Stories of emergence

I’m currently reading through some of the „stories of emergence” Mike Yaconelli has generally edited in order to get a feel for the emerging conversation, to experience and, if only for a brief period, join the community so keen on authenticity so I can understand these guys before I start accusing them of, say, having bought into postmodernism (like that wouldn’t beg a thousand nuances and qualifications) and having sacrificed evangelical convictions (like that wouldn’t beg a thousand nuances as well).

I’ve particularly enjoyed Todd Hunter’s section titled „Entering the conversation”. Fresh, hip, like everyone else in the conversation, but, rather surprisingly, quite balanced. You’ll find a compelling albeit repetitive apology for story (necessarily and stubbornly opposed to proposition) and a stimulating resolution Hunter has written to help him „stay in a storied posture” (p. 49). Read it below and subscribe…

„I am going to apprentice myself to Jesus in order to learn to live in Ultimate Reality, the Ultimate Story – God and his kingdom. I intend  to learn to do what Jesus did and say the things he said in his loving, confident, peaceful manner. I intend to be with him as his apprentice (through the Holy Spirit) doing the necessary and appropriate things (disciplines, means of grace) for apprehending this new kind of life. I do this for the sake of God, to work with him as he extends the benevolent rule and reign of his kingdom to others. I do not do this to earn or merit anything; it is my simple, but passionate (pearl of great price and treasure in the field), cooperation.”

Carl F. H. Henry on Evangelicalism

„If evangelical Christians do not join heart to heart, will to will and mind to mind across their multitudinous fences, and do not deeped their loyalties to the Risen lord of the Church, they may well become – by the year 2000 – a wilderness cult in a secular society with no more public significance than the ancient Essenes in their Dead Sea caves.” (Evengelicals at the Brink of Crisis, Word, Waco, Texas, 1967, pp. 10-11)

A sobering, prophetic word. Can someone deny he was at least partly right? The „fences” Henry was speaking of in 1967 may be now even more „multitudinous” than then. While some  (read: fundamentalists) have turned into austere members of a „wilderness cult” whose mode of dealing with the barren secular society has been primarily resistance and trenchant opposition, some have surely abandoned their darkened, essenic caves running frantically and irresponsibly towards secularism’s chimerical oases.

România şi legalizarea urîciunii

Citiţi aici un articol răscolitor semnat Mihail Neamţu, intitulat “Incestul penal şi România promiscuităţii” referitor la prevederea Noului Cod Penal prin care se renunţă la incriminarea incestului. E nevoie de vocea unora ca Neamţu să zgâlţâie conştiinţa bătucită a unei Românii care se promiscuizează văzând cu ochii.

Iertaţi imaginea poate prea dură, dar sunt unele lucruri, printre care incestul şi toate anomaliile sexuale, care îi provoacă lui Dumnezeu o greaţă cosmică! Doamne, ai milă!

Obama and stem cell research (SCR)

Never thought I’d be writing a snippety post on Obama tonight, but do allow me to link you to a sobering and hugely incisive article about Obama’s no-line position concerning SCR.

When, nota bene, a stem-cell research activist and a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics for five years gives a strong word of warning concerning Obama’s stance and decisions concerning SCR, everyone must listen up, whether they’re pro or against the issue.

You might be somewhat aghast at what lies ahead!

Read here:

Ajutor pentru Silvian Guranda

Cei care au o Biblie românească în variantă electronică veţi şti poate că textul a fost introdus de Silvian Guranda. Mai multe nu ştiam despre dumnealui înainte ca bunul meu prieten Voicu Bojan să pornească acţiunea de “comando” de binefacere despre care puteţi citi mai jos.

Dragilor,

Fara patetisme si bla bla-uri, treaba sta, pe repede inainte, in felul urmator:

Povestea lui Silvian, prietenul meu, a inceput cu o iesire la iarba verde cu familia – nevasta si 3 copii. O muscatura de capusa i-a schimbat radical viata. S-a infectat cu un parazit cu nume frumos – Borelia care a generat o boala destul de ciudata numita Lyme.

Mai nimeni in Romania (mortii domnului Lazarescu) nu prea stie ce e si de unde se apuca. Asa ca a inceput ping-pongul cu un om tot mai bolnav, cu sistemul imunitar prabusit. In cele din urma a sfirsit la psihiatru. Dihania s-a insinuat in sistemul nervos si i-a dat peste cap tot organismul, generind si o tumoare pe creier. Slava Domnului a supravietuit operatiei si azi e viu. Povestea e complexa si e buna de roman autobiografic – sper sa-I las lui placerea sa-l scrie intr-o zi.

Silvian a devenit in citiva ani dintr-un tip activ, om de radio si cap de familie cu multiple talente, un pensionar de boala, un fel de rejectat al societatii. Are o pensie de 230 de ron, adica vreo 60 de euro.

Zilele astea insa se intrevede o raza de speranta. Silvian a descoperit o clinica in Germania specializata exact pe problema lui. Medicii de acolo i-au raspuns la mesaj si sunt gata sa-l ajute. Starea lui e din pacate tot mai proasta, iar testele medicale sunt o urgenta. Il citez scurt pe doctorul de la Borreliose Centrum Ausburg:

Dear Silvian,I think you suffer from chronic Lyme and coinfections. After reading your history I would propose to test for Lyme activity (CD57 and Elispot-LTT), for Chlamydia pneumoniae (antibodies and Elispot-LTT), Ehrlichia (antibodies and Elispot-LTT), ANA-titre, ANCA, Babesia antibodies. I think it is a combination of chronic Lyme with Chlamydia infection…

Din pacate drumul in Germania, spitalizarea si testele aferente nu se pot face fara bani. Habar n-am citi. Am initiat aceasta actiune de comando sperind sa-l putem ajuta cumva. Orice suma e binevenita. E un mare privilegiu ca astazi sa putem fi de folos cuiva, oricui.

Ca sa fie totul rapid si direct, va trimit contul sotiei lui si adresa lui de email (silvianguranda@gmail.com), poate o sa-I scrieti macar un mesaj scurt de incurajare.

GURANDA LIDIA VIORICA
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bank: Transilvania, Sucursala Cluj-Napoca
swift code: BTRL RO22CJA

Va multumesc din inima, anticipat, la fiecare. Doamne-ajuta! Voicu Bojan

Milk in your coffee?

Q: Do you take milk in your coffee, sir?

A:  Oh, dear God, no, I dare not mix darkness with light

Clever indeed, who cares for a wee bit of light in a mug full of darkness?

Calvin’s austerity?

Wrapping up my essay on Calvin’s doctrine of Scripture I ran across a copiously amusing passage in the Institutes. Speaking about proper theology as being done within the limits of revelation, namely Scripture, Calvin makes a swift and brutally funny comment on what God was doing before he created the world. Did he struggle with cosmic boredom? Noooo…. , answers Calvin with a twinkle in his eye, he was busy creating hell for those theologians with overly-curious minds toying with „idle speculations” (Inst. 1.14.1). Hmm… sometimes you wonder: has he made hell big enough? 🙂

Revenire

Cu imensă ezitare, revin. Revin nu fiindcă am cedat unor stringenţe exterioare (o vreme Ligia mă trăgea consecvent de mânecă; apoi, trist, a renunţat), ci fiindcă mi-e dor de blog. Mi-e dor să (mă) scriu. Să-mi fie cu iertare aerul uşor ermetic pe care s-ar putea să-l degaje rândurile de azi. Apologiile sunt de mult trecute la “spam” pe blogul ăsta. Sunt în biblioteca Gamble din cadrul Union Theological College din cadrul Institutului de Teologie din cadrul Universităţii Queen’s, Belfast. E bine că toate sunt în cadru, deci în-cadr-ate aici. Tăcere elocventă între rafturi înţesate cu rostiri mai mult sau mai puţin potrivite despre Dumnezeu (Logoi prepoi tw Thew – Athanasius). Gamble (http://www.union.ac.uk/library/) e o biblioteca foarte serioară de teologie. Bibliotecarul-şef îmi spunea că fondul anual de achiziţii e undeva la 10.000lire. Chiar şi în vreme de criză? Chiar şi în vreme de criză, judecând după masa cu noi achiziţii, mozaic livresc nou şi viu colorat în fiecare săptămână.

Geamuri înalte. Draperii tipic britanice. Mobilă veche. Aer îmbietor de lectură şi studiu.

Aş vrea să mai bloguiesc, dar m-aşteaptă Calvinus (da, reformatorul Calvin) şi cărţile despre el. Un tip auster, determinat, prolific, cu o deferenţă amplu şi abundent demonstrată faţă de Scriptură. And  that’s my essay’s point.

Aşa că…îmi venea să scriu “să ne vedem curând”. Hai mai bine… “să vă scriu curând” chestii ceva mai substanţiale decât gângăviile de azi. Hey, atleast I’m back. Everybody needs a jumpstart now and then.This is mine now.

Cheerio!