This Week in the Blogosphere: Installment #5

Here is some of what I’ve been reading around the web this week. If it’s not enough, you can check out my delicious profile to see everything I’ve shared.

Philosophers have long debated whether moral statements are relative to the agent or they get at some objective standard, but it has been assumed that most people believe the more conservative objective moral truth model. The results of some recent psychological research, however, calls that assumption into question.

In this political climate, there is a lot of talk about entitlements. Here is a reflection on Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, that has helped me think through the issue.

There were a couple of good essays in the past couple of weeks on Christian doctrine:

As an ex-Arminian, I’m probably, if anything, biased against arguments for the doctrine, but this one from Roger E. Olson is about as good as they come.

This is the only time of year that most Protestants give more than a fleeting thought to the mother of God, but of course, Mary plays a vital role in the piety of our Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic sisters and brothers. Because of this disparity, there tends to be, from the Protestant side of the fence, quite a lot of ignorance and name calling. So I was pleased to find on First Thoughts, David Mills’ guide to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception for perplexed Protestants, (and Catholics, too). If you are a Protestant, you probably won’t be convinced, but hopefully it will at least clear up some of the misinformation. For instance, Mills explains that the doctrine is not about why Mary did not need to be saved, as many Protestants seem to think, but about how her Son saved her.

And for some lighter fare…

Scot McKnight let us look in on a debate about the nature of heaven and the soul, that took place on the signs of a Roman Catholic parish and an adjacent Reformed congregation. This is absolutely, freakin’ hilarious!

And while we’re laughing, here’s an old Peanuts cartoon that’s quite a theologically astute reflection on prayer.

My atheist friends, you’re in good company—here’s the quote of the week:

When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion but at the cry from the cross (‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’), the cry which confesses that God was forsaken of God.  And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable occurrence and unalterable power.  They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt, nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech) but let the atheists themselves choose a god.  They will find only one divinity who has ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.  -G. K. Chesterton

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