March 11, 2005

Friday Cornucopia of Links (With Apologies to the Scandalous One)

Having just plain tapped myself out this week, blogwise, I offer to you the following excellent reads, interesting diversions, or important matters for prayer:

Robert P. George's 1999 First Things article, "A Clash of Orthodoxies" will have you thinking about secular orthodoxy. A taste:

Orthodox secularists typically say that we should respect the rights of others, even as we go about the business of satisfying our own desires. Ultimately, however, secularism cannot provide any plausible account of where rights come from or why we should respect others’ rights. Of course, most secularists emphatically believe that people have rights. Indeed, they frequently accuse Christians and other religious believers of supporting policies that violate people’s rights. We are all familiar with the rhetoric: You religious people shouldn’t be imposing your values on other people. You are violating their rights! If it is between consenting adults, stay out of it! Any two (or more?) people have the right to define "marriage" for themselves. Women have a right to abortion. People have a right to take their own lives. Who are you to say otherwise?

But on the presuppositions of the secularist view, why should anybody respect anybody else’s rights? What is the reason for respecting rights? Any answer must state a moral proposition, but what, on orthodox secularist premises, could provide the ground of its moral truth?

Over at the website for the British comedy film, Gone to the Dogs (props to Touchstone's Mere Comments), you can take a test to determine what sort of dog you are (link on right hand side of page toward the bottom). Excellent graphics. Full disclosure: I am a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I am a large dog used to protect families from wild animals and for hunting deer and lions (thus my nickname, the "Lion Dog"). I am an attractive animal despite my ferocious reputation. I have a naturally gentle temperment and only move to speed and violence when my loved ones are under threat.

Eugene Peterson, perhaps the most important theological influence on my ministry, gives an interview to Christianity Today, "Spirituality for All the Wrong Reasons," on the publication of his new book. Here's a snippet:

[CT] Many people assume that spirituality is about becoming emotionally intimate with God.

[Peterson] That's a naďve view of spirituality. What we're talking about is the Christian life. It's following Jesus. Spirituality is no different from what we've been doing for two thousand years just by going to church and receiving the sacraments, being baptized, learning to pray, and reading Scriptures rightly. It's just ordinary stuff.

This promise of intimacy is both right and wrong. There is an intimacy with God, but it's like any other intimacy; it's part of the fabric of your life. In marriage you don't feel intimate most of the time. Nor with a friend. Intimacy isn't primarily a mystical emotion. It's a way of life, a life of openness, honesty, a certain transparency.

One week from today, barring legal and divine interventions, Terri Schiavo will be legally and slowly murdered by the state of Florida at the instigation of her husband Michael and Judge Greer. Please continue to pray for her life to be spared. And visit the following sites for news and updates:


Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation

Posted by Clifton at March 11, 2005 10:19 AM | TrackBack