Sunday, January 18, 2009

In No Particular Order

Well, things have been stabilizing a bit since the big day almost a month ago now. Plenty of things to write about, but not yet enough time to do so. In lieu of anything substantial, here's a few interesting reads I've come across.

Carl Trueman on Playboy:
There is another aspect to this, however, which is perhaps just as disturbing as what it says about the market for porn in modern society: the slow but steady abolition of the distinction between the public and the private. Now notions of privacy, even sexual privacy, have changed over the years: in medieval and early modern Europe, the wedding night of a public figure, (Luther is a good example) would be witnessed by a thrid party, to ensure that everything was done decently and in order, so to speak. Similar practices of public copulation at the start of married life often took place in peasant societies; and, even subsequent to marriage, a poor family, living in a house of one or two rooms, could scarcely expect the kind of sexual privacy which many of us would now see as the norm. Nevertheless, the public nature of sexual activity in contemporary society is different, driven it seems not so much by social necessity as by moral iconoclasm, hedonism, voyeurism, and exhibitionism. [source]

Some biblical studies professor at Southern Seminary:
Let’s cut straight to the chase: I think the New Testament indicates that the early church took the Lord’s supper every Lord’s day, that is, every Sunday. [source]

Some BH guy on homosexuality:
It is clear that that the ancient world was more pan-sexual than the modern world. The Roman antipathy to homosexuality (in the Republican era) was exceptional. The Greek-Oriental situation was far more common. It is also true that homosexuals of the Oscar Wilde type, as a distinct class (queers, gay, faggots, etc. etc.) as a distinct and completely self contained group is only about 200 years old. Prior to that, human beings appear to have been more androgynous. I would suspect that through most of human history, not only homosexual, but also bestial contacts were not uncommon for many people who were also heterosexual and married. Marriage was far more a “business”, a matter of estates and generational line than of love or companionship. Not that love and romance did not exist before. After all, one of the most famous stories in the world is based on “the face that launched a thousand ships” with Helen of Troy. But it was quite rare, and an aristocratic luxury, and probably did not exclude other sexual behaviors in principle. [source]

And finally, some sarcastic, but apropos comments from the ole Ben Myers about how to suck at being a theologian:
As a theological student, your aim is to accumulate opinions – as many as you can, and as fast as possible. (Exceptional students may acquire all their opinions within the first few weeks; others require an entire semester.) One of the best ways to collect opinions is to choose your theological group (“I shall be progressive,” or “I will be evangelical,” or “I am a Barthian”), then sign up to all the opinions usually associated with that social group. If at first you don’t feel much conviction for these new opinions, just be patient: within twelve months you will be a staunch advocate, and you’ll even be able to help new students acquire the same opinions. [source]