University
Category

  • Best Links of the Week

    The Supreme Courts Back Alley Runs Through Philadelphia.”  A story on how Roe v. Wade makes regulating abortion clinics exceedingly difficult and opens the doors for the horrific squalor and infanticide of the clinic in Philadelphia.

    Summary of a really interesting survey of evangelicals in the UK.

    Billy Graham regrets not steering clear of politics and regrets not spending more time with family.

    Mark Sanchez picks his nose and wipes it on his backup QB, video here.  (HT:  Aaron)

    Consumer Watchdog and privacy group is raising concerns over close ties between Google, the NSA, and the present federal government.

    Christian Astronomy Professor successfully sues the University of Kentucky for religious discrimination against him.

    Iran has cleared a major hurdle in the uranium enrichment process.

    Solid WSJ report on their murdered reporter Daniel Pearl.

    U.S. Taxpayers have footed the $160 million legal bill for the executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Unbelievable and unconscionable.

    Government Unions are trying to court the TSA to join their ranks.

    Chuck DeGroat continues his series on dealing with difficult people with an excellent piece on dealing with the borderline (passive-aggressive).

    Bernanke’s Rally Runs into Headwinds

    A fairly thorough dossier on the American mafia.

    Check your Munis as a bunch of states are quietly looking at bankruptcy.

    Donald Trump has some harsh words on the pomp and show put on for the Chinese president.

    Two Italian scientists (with suspect pasts) claim they have successfully found cold fusion.  No offense to my Italian friends, but this is very doubtful.

    Double dip in the housing market.

    UPDATE:  The appalling story of the Philadelphia abortion doctor who was charged with eight counts of murder, who had squalid conditions and random baby parts in jars… women are coming forward saying that he left them sterile.  Also in this vein, Al Mohler had a good piece on the President’s comments on the Roe v. Wade anniversary speech.

    “People are Awesome”:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo0Cazxj_yc]

  • Best Links of the Week

    The Economist has an excellent article entitled “The Disposable Academic: Why Doing a PhD is a Waste of Time”

    Delightfully lengthy article in GQ about Mossad’s somewhat botched assassination of a Hamas leader in the city of Dubai. (HT:  Phill)

    Fascinating article that makes a compelling case that the Stuxnet worm that has disrupted Iran’s nuclear program originated ironically from China (and not the U.S., Britain, or Israel).

    50 cent makes $8,700,000.00 off one tweet.  As a corollary to this article, there is way more money in self-branding in the entertainment industry than there is in the entertainment industry.  I also think it is ridiculous where people will take investment advice from.

    I watched Ted Haggard’s little special on TLC last weekend.  I won’t delve into analyzing the state of his soul but Carl Trueman does a pretty decent job.

    When you hang your head in shame, the last thing you should be thinking about is whether the camera has caught your good side.

    The Lazy Slander of the Pro-Life Cause

    BBC article on the impact of the King James Bible on the English language.

    No other book, or indeed any piece of culture, seems to have influenced the English language as much as the King James Bible. Its turns of phrase have permeated the everyday language of English speakers, whether or not they’ve ever opened a copy.

    2010 Los Angeles County bill tab for illegal immigrants in public schools was $600,000,000.00.

    Utterly appalling story of abortion doctor in Philadelphia.  There had been no inspection of the clinic since 1993.

    Gosnell “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord,” Williams said.

    Patients were subjected to squalid and barbaric conditions at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society, where Gosnell performed dozens of abortions a day, prosecutors said. He mostly worked overnight hours after his untrained staff administered drugs to induce labor during the day, they said.

    12 Things that Will Cost Less in 2011

    Starbuck’s ‘trenta’ infographic

  • Best Links of the Week

    Provocative piece entitled, “Artists Build the Church.”  Aesthetics without a doubt have been marginalized in the church.  Another work that should be brought into this discussion is Hans Urs von Balthasaar’s Trilogy on “The Glory of the Lord.”  Shame on Protestants for letting a Catholic write probably the best treatment of aesthetics (alongside Wolsterstorff’s work).   God’s holiness and God’s glory are at the core of God’s character.  Hence, art and aesthetics are at the very center of our Christian faith.

    4th Amendment Underclothes – metallic print protest clothing.  For those of you unaware the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution states the following:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Department of Homeland Security commandeering domain names.

    It takes Iran over 30 years to notice Star of David placed on roof of their national airline’s (Iran Air) headquarters.  The building was designed by Israeli architects.

    Which Cashback credit cards to use at which retailers/websites.  This was rather helpful.

    A number of top shelf scientists publish a cautionary letter regarding the new X-ray machines that has some good scientific concerns that dispel a lot of the misinformation regarding the safety of the new machines.   I think some more substantial science is in order here particularly for the elderly, children, pregnant, and those prone to various cancers on or close to skin (testicular, breast…).

    If you haven’t heard yet, there were more WikiLeaks documents released of roughly a quarter million wires principally between emabassies.  Of interest is a large amount of security intel, policy, military strategy, and embarassing details about world government figures.  Of interest, it seems that North Korea did in fact provide Iran with the missile vehicles to launch nuclear warheads.  This is very disconcerting as it means that North Korea likely has the nuclear bomb and rockets to launch them in.

    Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens debate whether Religion is good for the world or not.  I am inclined to think that religion, in the conventional sense of the word, is not good for the world.  I am also unsure what is meant by the word, “good” as well.  I would argue from different angles and presuppositions than Hitchens but likely arrive at similar conclusions.  I would be very happy if every religion based on human self-righteousness would permanently cease.  I don’t think anything is “good” apart from Christ, hence I think that all non-Christocentric religion is bunk.

    Flexible, Disposable E-readers?

    Should MIT Teach Poetry?”  I have already ranted on here about the affects of removing the Christian worldview on higher education (see post on UCF scandal).   The point is that our Universities have become trade schools.  Further, these trade schools are increasingly more expensive (astronomically expensive compared to inflation rates) while becoming less effective at producing marketable laborers.  For many employers experience is > or = to education.  If one’s education were limited to such a narrow sub-field of a field within a faculty within a college within a University… there is no foundation for the knowledge/building to stand.  Of course MIT should teach poetry.

    Congressman Mike Coffman (Rep. Colorado) writes a cogent piece on why not to raise taxes during a recession. (HT: SB)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/should-mit-teach-poetry_b_782998.html
  • Best Links of the Week

    NYT infographic on reducing our nations inflated bugdet.  While we are on the subject here are two proposals that inspired the aforementioned infographic:  Fiscal Commission’s Co-Chair Proposal and Illustrative Savings.

    There is a fairly large controversy brewing over both the TSAs use of full-body scanners and their substantially more aggressive pat-downs.  I have actually had one of the full-body scans before and poked my head around to see the image (much to the dislike of TSA) and it was pretty invasive.  A man in California got a tape of his encounter with TSA after refusing the scan and getting the new ‘special’ patdown.  He gets arrested and faces substantial fines for warning the TSA employee not to “touch his junk.”

    Doug Wilson has a nice piece entitled, “Populism and Common Sense.”

    Besides the fact I think morality and atheism are completely incompatible, I like Christopher Hitchens.  Andrew Anthony has a very well-written piece on his current thoughts during his battle with stage-iv cancer.

    Most Common Causes of Death in the United States

    NY Post has an article on Hookers for Jesus, a ministry seeking to get sex-workers off the streets of Las Vegas.  An interesting read.

    Facebook jumping into the email forray.  I wonder if this will end up being part of the ever-expanding wedge between younger and older web-users where younger generations employ Facebook over email to communicate.  Maybe I am a bit out of touch but I fail to see this being very successful for Facebook for anyone older than 22.  Their current message platform is horrendous to work with and often crashes after you have composed substantial portions of text – so much so that before I hit “send” I always copy all of my composed text because I have lost it so many time.

    You Suck at PowerPoint.

    Comical video which attempts to explain quantitative easing.  I should note there is some misinformation in the video.   The Fed regularly buys/sells assets to change the amount of base money.  However, in this case the amount is specified ($600,000,000,000.00) rather than dealing with overnight interest rates.  Given there are rather alarmingly high amounts of ties between Goldman Sachs and the Fed as well as Goldman Sachs and the Obama administration, it would be an alarming precedent for the Fed to buy its own treasuries from itself.

    App of the week:  Google Voice by Google – after months of dragging its feet, apple finally let this app hit the iTunes store.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k]

    Ken Block, Ford Fiesta, Awesome:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TshFWSsrn8]

  • On the “Massive Cheating Scandal at UCF”

    There is a “Massive Cheating Scandal at UCF business school.”  There are several noteworthy pieces to this story that merit further examination.

    I know cheating is rampant everywhere.   I am not surprised at this given how dysfunctional the business community is at present.  The post-modern-pragmatists just don’t care because there is no transcendence to their worldview and hence no morality.  This is also a function of the denial of the Christian meta-narrative at the university.  You can blame the students who are culpable in and of themselves but you can also blame the university for their tacit reject of the one framework that makes sense of why there is any scandal at all.  There would never need to be courses on business ethics, or bioethics, or engineering ethics, or law ethics, or educational ethics if all truths where put into subjection of Christ.   These courses exist because there is no “UNI” left in the university… all that is left is “DIversity.”  If all is fractured and nothing is coherent, then where is the “scandal” in this story.  The snake eats its own tail.

    Unity and diversity only truly exist in the Trinity.  Without the unity and diversity of the Godhead, unity and diversity make no sense.   At best Universities have become de facto trade schools where students learn one narrow subject focus.  Each different department or faculty teach diametrically opposite worldviews to each of the other departments/faculties.  Sometimes even within single departments there isn’t even a single worldview expressed.  Our universities aren’t even all that good at producing employable persons.

    It also boggles my mind when people are shocked at the fallenness of humanity.  People are going to cheat because they are sinful.  Babies don’t have to be taught how to manipulate their parents.  Children don’t have to be taught how to not share or play well with others.  We are selfish and we will do whatever we wish whenever we wish.  If we can save three hours of study time so we can go get drunk and be stupid… many will.  Does this professor really think that humans are good natured.  I don’t know how you can look at the business community, history, your own children, or even yourself and conclude anything besides human depravity.  People don’t play fair – they lie, they cheat, and they steal to advance themselves at the detriment of others.  Yes, there is the common grace of the natural law and the civil law and the University rules that restrains such sin… but left to their own vices and the Adamic nature, chaos reigns.

    November 10, 2010 • Anthropology, Culture, University • Views: 528

  • Best Links of the Week

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtgVW1gZ3lc&feature=player_embedded]

    Some cogent thoughts on church planting by Ed Stetzer (see video above)

    Tim Tebow Documentary coming out soon:  Trailer Here

    Excellent piece in Vanity Fair by Michael Lewis entitled, “Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

    WSJ article on Obama pushing for a tax cut and a tax hike?

    Further Seems Forever reuniting with Chris Carabba.  I am hope that the new music is substantive and layered.

    HDR video using two Canon 5D Mark ii‘s

    Very-well written piece utterly dissecting Lady Gaga (and by corollary the generation that has made her famous) in an article entitled, “Lady Gaga and the Death of Sex.”

    Interesting debate in Israel over daylight savings time and theology.

    Tennessee Volunteer football coach has to coach up players on how to take a shower properly after a series of staph infections amongst players.

    Popular Science gallery on 30 Awesome College Labs (classes).

    Stanford creating seriously peer-reviewed rival to Wikipedia.

    Infographic on who is in the blogosphere. (HT: Challies)

    How to block abusive or unfriendly email on Gmail

    Fidel Castro reportedly saying publicly that Cuban model of government and economics does not work… then states he misspoke and meant to say “capitalism doesn’t work.”

    Really strange soccer goal (HT: Uri)

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pjxb0dj8j8&feature=player_embedded#at=44]

    Why the Chinese economy is expanding – efficient production.  Note – the video has not been sped up

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KAny-1saS4&feature=player_embedded]

  • Nietzsche vs. Christianity, Part 4

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    This lecture focuses on Christianity’s response to Nietzsche and the problem of Foucault.

    Audio is available here.

    I.  Recapping Nietzsche’s objections to Christianity:

    A.  Intellectually impossible

    B.  It demeans humanity

    C.  Its morality is fatal to life

    II.  In Christianity’s Place are Nietzsche’s Affirmations:

    1. Be a free-spirit
    2. Be curious
    3. Be nomadic

    III.  Christian Responses

    Abraham Kuyper

    Dostoevsky – Brothers Karamazov

    Blaise Pascal – Pensees

    Karl Barth

    Francis Schaeffer – true/livable

    St. Augustine

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    IV.  The Problem of Foucault

    V.  Talking Points

    A.  Is the Nietzschean worldview true?

    B.  Is the Nietzschean worldview livable?

    C.  Does Foucault present a problem for Nietzsche’s worldview?

    D.  Does Nietzsche really understand Christianity?

  • Nietzsche vs. Christianity: Part 3

    Lecture 3 focused on four things:  1.  The intellectual backdrop to Nietzsche  2.  Nietzsche’s 3 main objections to Christianity  3.  Nietzsche’s positive affirmations in place of Christianity  4.  The Nietzschean Catechism.  Audio is available here.

    I.  Intellectual Backdrop

    19th century Western (Continental) Europe was unkind to Christianity.  Some of the major works floating around were:

    The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life by Charles Darwin

    Replaces need for God in cosmology

    The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

    Inherently atheistic

    On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers by Friedrich Schleiermacher

    Book basically splits Protestantism in two

    Origins of the History of Christianity by Ernest Renan

    The New Testament is essentially myth.  This revisionist history was seminal in classic liberalism and influential in the later Jesus Seminar.

    The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig von Feuerbach

    Christianity is superstition that will soon be replaced by humanism

    The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud

    Humanity has invented God and this delusion is a kind of mental illness.

    Prolegomena to the History of Israel by Julius Wellhausen

    Wellhausen espouses that the first five books of the Old Testament were not written by Moses but by editors from four schools of thought.  A flood of Bible criticism followed Wellhausen.  Tubingen.

    History of Materialism and Critique of its Present Importance by Friedrich Lange

    Atomistic Materialism and Darwinism.

    II.  3 OJECTIONS:

    1.  Intellectually impossible (this is assumed a priori without argumentation)

    2.  It demeans humanity (herd mentality, Dionysianism…)

    3.  Its morality is fatal to life (slave morality, Dionysianism…)

    Nietzsche is more concerned with assessing the damage that Christianity has done rather than tearing it apart limb from limb.  Nature was determinant and all metaphysics are to be rejected.

    III.  Nietzsche’s Positive Affirmations

    1.  Be a free-spirit

    2.  Be curious

    3.  Be nomadic (as well as will to power, master morality…)

    IV.  The Nietzschean Catechsim

    Nietzsche ends book 3 of The Gay Science with 8 hypothetical questions and answers (see page 142):

    1.  What makes one heroic?

    To approach at the same time one’s highest suffering and one’s highest hope

    2.  What do you believe in?

    In this, that the weights of all things must be determined anew.

    3.  What does your conscience say?

    You should become who you are.

    4.   Where lie your greatest dangers?

    In compassion

    5.  What do you love in others?

    My hopes

    6.  Whom do you call bad?

    He who always wants to put people to shame

    7.  What is most human to you?

    To spare someone shame

    8.  What is the seal of having become free?

    No longer to be ashamed before oneself.

  • Nietzsche vs. Christianity: Part 1

    Here is the AUDIO for the first lecture.

    I was struck by a few things in doing my research on the life, thought, and influence of Nietzsche.  First, I am struck at how dark, bleak, and sick was Nietzsche’s early world.  Second, I was struck by the damning affects of the poison that flowed from the Tubingen School, particularly in the thought of Strauss, Feuerbach, and Schopenhauer (Tubingen was the school that started all of the criticism of the Bible that eventually led to the splitting of Protestantism into its conservative and liberal branches).  Third, I am struck by how different Nietzsche’s thought changed over time and how he moves beyond all of his influences.  Fourth, I am struck by both the radicalness and the consistency of Nietzsche’s atheism, he is the one atheist who says that morality is contingent on the existence of God.  Fifth, I am struck that Nietzsche is really a kind of Greek thinker in the vein of Dionysus and that the goal of his whole philosophy is life affirmation.  Sixth, I am struck by how much I agree with Nietzsche both in what bothers him and what he affirms.  Finally, I couldn’t agree more with David Hart when he says, “The only really effective antidote to the dreariness of reading the New Atheists, it seems to me, is rereading Nietzsche.”

    Below is the outline and audio from the first lecture:

    I.  Biography and Psychology

    A.  Death

    B.  Boarding School at Pforta

    C.  Chronic Illness

    D.  Bonn/Leipzig

    E.  University of Basel

    F.  Franco-Prussian War Medical Orderly

    II.  Intellectual Influences

    A.  David Frederick StraussDas Leben Jesu

    B.  Ludwig von FeuerbachThe Essence of Christianity

    C.  Friedrich LangeHistory of Materialism and Critique of its Present Importance (Geschichte des Materialismus)

    D.  Dionysus

    E.  Arthur Schopenhauer

    F.  Richard Wagner

    III.  Nietzsche’s Thought

    A.  “The Death of God”

    B.  Nihilism

    C.  Master and Slave Morality

    D.  Übermensch

    E.  Will to Power (der Wille zur Macht)

    F.  Eternal Recurrence (ewige Wiederkunft)

    IV.  Nietzsche’s Influence

    A.  William Butler Yeats

    B.  Martin Heidegger

    C.  Albert Camus

    D.  Michel Foucault

    E.  Jacques Derrida

    F.  Martin Buber

    G.  Adolf Hitler (sort of)

  • Nietzsche vs. Christianity: Introduction

    Earlier this spring, I taught a course with the Encore program at NC State University entitled Nietzsche vs. Christianity.  In case any of you who were in the course (or who weren’t) wanted the audio or lecture outlines…  I will post those here.

    The outline of the course is as follows:

    I.  Nietzschean Thought

    II.  Christian Thought

    III.  Nietzsche’s Objections to Christianity

    IV.  Christianities’ Response to Nietzschean Objections

    V.  A Potential Synthesis… and Talking Points

    VI.  Collision DVD

    April 12, 2010 • Atheism, Audio, Nietzsche, orthodoxy, orthopraxis, Philosophy, Theology, University, Worldview • Views: 289