Reader’s digest

Hello again

Busy week, this week, so I don’t have much time to write my own material. So please find below a selection of recommended reading that I have come across. Some of it is new, some old, but all of which I find interesting. I hope you do too.

A new, private university is to be set up in London, charging fees of £18,000 per year. While this has been reported in a few media circles along similar lines (outrage at the privatisation of education and the exorbitant fees) I think The Church Mouse has hit the nail on the head with the real agenda. The only surprise in the coverage is that I’ve yet to come across anyone who thinks the idea has been nicked from Jamie’s Dream School.

Sometimes I wonder if these are made up, but apparently a formula for making a home-made bomb was replaced by a cake recipe. What I really want to know is how good were the cakes?

In the world of science, news reached me about anti-matter. I’ve been interested in anti-matter since I was a teenager and have spent many hours pondering its existence and properties. Unfortunately, I lack the necessary equipment to be able to conduct meaningful experiments with it. Fortunately, the folks at the Large Hadron Collider don’t have so many limitations as I. They have been able to contain some anti-matter for 1,000 seconds. For the laymen’s article on this, visit the BBC, but for the hardcore among you, the paper is freely available on arXiv (though it is large and takes a while to download on a broadband connection)

Not a new article to read by any long stretch of the imagination, but worthwhile nonetheless. This is something I’ve had renewed interest in of late. I’m still working my way through NT Wright’s Christian Origins and the Question of God series (albeit that I cheated by starting at volume 3. I’m currently about a third of the way The New Testament and the People of God, and the follow-up, Jesus and the Victory of God is sitting on my bookshelf, looking very inviting. This, combined with the reaction I got from some quarters to my review of Thomas O’Loughlin’s book about the Didache, has prompted me once more to look at the Jesus Seminar and its critics, amongst whom Wright is almost unquestionably the most prominent.

See here, for his comeback on the methodology of the Jesus Seminar and a collection of their writings. To be honest, I don’t know how seriously these guys are taken these days, as it has been over a decade since the publication of JVG and the linked article. I don’t hear much about them in the mainstream press and if they are evident on the blogosphere, it must be in a different sector to the one I peruse.

Sticking on the theme of NT Wright, I stumbled across this the other day. It is a curious blog which denounces Wright as a “wolf” and on the surface appears very conservative and fundamentalist (in the modern sense of the term) . Yet, unusually, it doesn’t seem quite as bleating as some other “false teacher” sites I have come across. Wright himself is quoted quite a lot, though I myself have not yet had sufficient time to read the full catalogue of all his writings, so cannot tell if he is being quoted out of context.

The blog makes quite a lot of reference to New Perspectives on Paul, an idea which I have heard of though know precious little about. I am well aware that Wright has written a few books on Paul in the build up to volume 4 in his Christian Origins series, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, currently due for publication in 2012. From what I can gather, this is to be the magnum opus in the New Perspectives movement, though at the moment I choose to concentrate my own theological focus on Christology, rather than Pauline soteriology.

Finally, to end on a lighter note (possibly), what is the best way to reduce the emission of methane in the atmosphere? Well, according to one Australian gentleman, you need to get in either a jeep or a helicopter and shoot camels!

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