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Christianity. Theology. Apologetics. Philosophy. Literature. Politics. Science. Culture.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Playing Catch Up: Atheism, Predestination, Books, Music, Mice and Governmental Spheres

I probably should have started this some time ago... As it stands now, I have a lot to catch you up on. Because of this, I will not be discussing each topic at the depth that I would like. As a further note, please forgive me for being URL happy on my first post. I should calm down, somewhat, within a few months.

To begin, I would really like to get my two latest writing projects (the first a practical and philosophical critique of atheism and the second a nearly 10,000 word argument for the Calvinist doctrine of predestination) on here, but I haven't figured out a way to host them where they can be downloaded. I'll let you know when I do.

More recently my primary focus has been a semi-intense reading plan my father put together for Brett and I, the details of which are outlined below:

Current Reading:

'Future Grace' by John Piper
'The Lexus and the Olive Tree' by Thomas L. Friedman
'America and Vietnam' by Albert Marrin
'Winning the Future' by Newt Gingrich

Completed Reading:

'The Tipping Point' by Malcolm Gladwell
'Joshua Generation' by Michael Farris
'The Radical Reformission' by Mark Driscoll
'The Fabric of the Cosmos' by Brian Greene
'The Enemy Within' by Kris Lungaard
'The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination' by Loraine Boettner
'God's Lesser Glory' by Bruce A. Ware

Coming Up:

'The Underground History of American Education' by John Taylor Gatto
'The Harsh Truth About Public Schools' by Bruce Shortt
'The World is Flat' both by Thomas L. Friedman
'The Most Real Being' by J.A. Crabtree

Suffice to say that the great wealth of knowledge that my mind is being forced to digest is having a profoundly positive effect on my overall understanding and awareness of the world around me. Philosophy class (coupled with my own theological study and my current reading) has really served to connect a myriad of things in my mind. One particularly gratifying connection that keeps recurring is science's verification of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. In the arena of human psychology and social manipulation (see 'The Tipping Point' by Malcolm Gladwell) I found several incredible statements. Some of which could have well been taken from a revolutionary essay on topic of predestination. Furthermore, the field of physics (see 'The Fabric of the Cosmos' by Brian Greene) emphatically disproves both the Arminian and open theistic positions. Both classical and quantum physics are profoundly deterministic (i.e. the nature of spacetime and illusory concepts of past, present, and future reality). The theological concept of an "eternal decree" is shown in a whole new light by the implications of physical law... That is, by the fact that all actions and events (including salvation) were intrinsically established in the creation of the universe. The quotations from Gladwell's book can be found in my argument for predestination, which I mentioned above and which (again) I will try to link to as soon as possible. The physics reading has been more recent, however, if I have time in the near future, I will try to incorporate it into my predestination essay. As a disclaimer, I share these thoughts, not because I wish to start an theological dispute (I believe it would distract from the purpose of the blog), but because the topic has been weighing heavily on my mind and occupying much of my thought life in recent months.

Moving on: In the world of music we are currently enamored with the British band Keane. The trios unusual makeup of only piano, drums, and vocals makes them unique by itself, but their musical talent and maturity is what sets them apart, in my opinion. Their album 'Hopes and Fears' is one of the few where you come to love every track.

As a random fact, I wish I could get one of these, even though I have a laptop.

To conclude, I recently read Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker's dissenting opinion in a child custody case that has been making headlines recently among the legal and judicial community. The attention is due to several unique aspects of the decision. First, 7 of the 9 justices wrote opinions on the case (unheard of numbers). And second, several justices made multiple references to Scripture to support their decisions. However, it was Justice Parker's lone dissent that I found most compelling and true to both the Founder's intent and biblical teaching on governmental spheres of authority. The AP article on the decision can be found here. Fellow blogger Chad Degenhart links to the full text of Justice Parker's opinion and includes a few (though not all) of the more relevant excerpts here.

There you have it: a highly condensed summary of my recent contemplations. Soli Deo Gloria!